The newly opened 150 metre cycle and pedestrian link bridges the gap between Agar Grove and Camley Street, thus providing an excellent route to St Pancras which is infinitely better than any alternative. It will improve the cycle route to the City and pedestrian routes to the Camley Street Nature Reserve, the British Library and St Pancras Church gardens.
The link runs next to the west side of the Midland Mainline railway track between the north end of Camley Street and Agar Grove. It joins Agar Grove to the west of the railway bridge, opposite the end of Murray Street. Agar Grove is about 5 metres higher than the top of Camley Street.
This idea had been aired over several years, but it was Peter Wills (photo, left) who suggested that CCC should commission a feasibility study. Paul Gannon took up the idea and in late 2002, he and Peter Wills applied for a Camden Central Community Chest grant to fund a study. They were successful and Tom Young produced a report in Autumn 2003. Download The Camley Street Report (4 Mbytes). This report was then presented to a CCC meeting Read about the presentation in a newsletter. Meanwhile Paul Gannon, with the support of Cllr. Gerry Harrison, had convinced Camden council that the proposed link should be included in the planning brief for the Kings Cross development.
Camden Council officers advised CCC that we should try to get the Camley Street link funded under Section 106 on the Kings Cross development, but that this will take many years. It was at this time that The Camden Square Neighbourhood Association and local residents started to support the scheme.
In all of our responses to the various stages of the Kings Cross consultation CCC stressed the importance of the Camley Street link. At the Camden Council meeting for the final decision on the Kings Cross development, Hugh Lake of the Camden Square CAAC spoke strongly in favour of the link.
Paul Braithwaite, long time CCC member and new Lib Dem councillor on Camden Council decided to become a champion of the Camley Street link. He then negotiated with Camden Officers to have the work done by Camden Council rather than waiting for many years for it to be built by Argent. The photo (below, left) shows Paul negotiating the gates on arrival.
Camden Council obtained TfL Greenway funding for design and implementation Spring 2007
Emma Chapman of Camden Street policy made a successful application for TfL Greenway funding, first for a consultation and then for the full implementation. The project was built at a total cost of £500K from TfL (Transport for London). This included a total of £308K TfL Greenway funding over three years, together with £110k from their LCN+ Programme, £65K from their Regeneration programme and £20K from the walking program). The photo on the right shows Chris Nicola and Emma Chapman with Omoniyi Giwa from TfL (centre) at the opening.
Dave Stewart took over the supervision of the consultation and the construction. We were sorry that he was unable to come to the opening.
Soon after this, it was decided that the route would be on embankment rather than as a separate structure as proposed by Tom Young.
The public consultation came out in August 2007 and was supported by deputations from Camden Square CAAC and CCC.
Record numbers of positive responses were received and the work was given the go-ahead by Camden Council.
The trees on embankment were cut down. It was then established that the route can exit via the railway bridge into Agar Grove. All through the next year, Paul B was working hard to keep the work going and now, at last we have the final, beautiful route.
Opening August 2009
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was carried out first by Paul Braithwaite (photo on left) and then again by Chris Knight (chair Exec Envt group) on right. The middle photo shows Paul making his speech. In all three photos, Camden Square residents and Peter Wills are behind.
Then, when it was almost all over, another group in Camden yellow vests arrived. The three with the hard hats are the construction team, with the foreman, Robbie Atkins, in the centre. The other two are Shane Greig who designed the scheme and supervised on site and Matthew George, both from Camden Consultancy Services.
Photos by Lionel Shapiro. To see some more photos, look at our photo gallery