Thursday, May 13News For London

London Chelsea: to build or not to build the new King’s Road Station. That, is the question?

The Chelsea Farmers Market in King’s Road could be demolished and substituted with the new station for Crossrail2. Amid oppositions by Chelsea residents, TfL confirms that this regional scheme will have a beneficial impact to London.

London King's Road. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin
London King’s Road. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin.

 

Off the busy King’s Road, just down Sydney Road, there is this quiet Chelsea Farmers Market. Besides its misleading name, this market offers a series of wooden shops selling a wide range of items, an organic supermarket, bars and restaurants. For many locals is the perfect place to have a steak and a glass of sangria during the summer time. However, all this will be over soon.

The market will be demolished to make way to Crossrail2 and its new station in Chelsea King’s Road, one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in the world. Although 10,000 signatures were collected for the petition to oppose the construction of it, this future station would bring 200,000 new jobs and 200,000 new homes across the region while in operation.

This suggested station, would be for Crossrail2, the proposed new railway, which would connect the National rail networks between Surrey and Hertfordshire. Providing direct links between King’s Road, 50 rails and underground station. That would mean that residents and local businesses would have access to more jobs within a 45 minutes journey, according to TfL.

 

London Chelsea Farmers Market - Proposal for new station. Photo: Transport for London.
London Chelsea Farmers Market – Proposal for new station. Photo: Transport for London.

 

At the Society’s meeting on Crossrail2 on the 30th September 2015, Richard De Cani from Transport for London (TfL) said that London’s population is growing and overcrowding underground lines such as Piccadilly, District and Circle lines. Therefore, he accorded that London needs a north-east to south-west underground to manage this population growth.

Although TfL intends to build the new Chelsea station between Sloan Square and Fulham Broadway stations, the two respective supervisors have different opinions.

“It’s very rare that is overcrowded. Only if there is disruption with other trains, I don’t think it would make any difference a station in King’s Road for us in here,” says the station supervisor of Sloan Square, Nigel McGregor.

Sloan Square Station. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin
Sloan Square Station. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin.

 

But, while the station supervisor of Sloan Square thinks that a new station would not affect them, John Veglio, station supervisor of Fulham Broadway, has a different opinion: “It needs to be done. During peak time here is too busy. It would take pressure off us. Half six in the morning it’s crazy. Once it is done is going to be good in all aspects. But the question is at what cost?”

The approximate cost for the entire Crossrail2 will be between 27£bn and 32£bn, and the cost for Chelsea station will be £840m. To disagree this sum for the construction of Chelsea station is Georgia Toffolo, who appears in the TV programme Made in Chelsea: “The money would be far better spent on an area of London that really needs redevelopment, instead of on the city’s richest area,” said Ms Toffolo to Financial Times.

Despite the large cost, Crossrail2 would provide new capacity for up to 270,000 more people travelling into London in peak periods, meaning that there will be a decrease of crowding and congestion on the transport network, according to Crossrail2.

This cohesive project, Crossrail2, by TfL and Network rail, has support from many   South East businesses. The manager of Calvin Klein King’s Road, Flora Shahidi, concurs with the fact that the new station would bring more benefits to chain shops and private businesses. She also believes that there will be also more job opportunities in London.

 

Interview with Calvin Klein King’s Road manager, Flora Shahidi. – Video: Shirly Bumaguin. 

The manager of Vivienne Westwood World’s End Boutique in King’s Road, Lisa, is in disagreement. “I am against it, totally- I have already signed the petition. The business person in me says yes, is great and it would give jobs, but the compassion inside me I think what would it happen to other residents.”

Vivienne Westwood World's End shop. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin
Vivienne Westwood World’s End shop. Photo: Shirly Bumaguin

 

Additionally, although Lisa agrees that the new station will bring more jobs, the concern is from a private business perspective: “We are the only fashion house in here. That’s mean that Primark will open now in King’s Road? Meaning that it will become a new Oxford Street with chain shops.”

King’s Road might become a new Oxford Street, and the Chelsea Farmers Market might become the new station. But, for its small wooden shops, white picnic tables and oversized umbrellas, it can’t be forgotten.

 

Sub-editor: Pawandeep Dosanjh