Backers of Camden Highline project not deterred by £50 million cost
Fund-raising continues for New York-inspired link from Camden Town to King's Cross
08 February, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
SUPPORTERS of a plan to create the Camden Highline – a garden path along disused railway tracks – are refusing to be put off by a construction bill which could reach £50million.
The project to link King’s Cross to Camden Town moved a step closer this week as a study showed the project was viable – but organisers now need to bring in the funding to make the scheme a reality. Inspired by a similar project in New York, the route would run for a nearly a mile alongside train tracks and create a parkland walk. Built in three phases, the first tranche of money needed is £12m – with a figure closer to £50million sought to complete the project.
Network Rail and Camden Town Unlimited, a business group in NW1, have provided a feasibility report which says it can work in principle.
“We will do it in stages. You have to make it safe – and it is expensive to do, but it would be amazing,” said Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited. “We spend a lot of money on cycleways, on roads and this is about alternative transport, about increasing air quality, about giving people more options and re-using infrastructure.”
The path would finish near Camden Road station, relieving pressure on the Northern line. He added that the Camden Highline group would embark on a fundraising drive, speaking to leading companies in Camden Town and King’s Cross to sell the benefits of the project.
“We also have to consider how it would be maintained and if you could create an income around it so it did not become a white elephant,” he said. “If you think of all the money spent on the Garden Bridge, which did not happen, it gives the figure some perspective. “The fundraising for the feasibility study showed the dynamic spirit of this city. When we want something, we make it happen. It is in that same spirit we’re fundraising for the construction – to make this idea a reality