THE GOVERNMENT is set to sink £80M into King's Cross underground station as part of its contribution to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Transport minister Glenda Jackson announced on Thursday that the scheme will start in early 2000. Work will concentrate on tackling existing problems of congestion at the station, and will address the final aspects of the Fennell report following the King's Cross fire in 1987.
The proposals also include a second £80M phase of work to link the Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines to the planned new international station at St Pancras. This will start once the second section of the CTRL begins - not expected until 2001 at the earliest.
The first phase of the work will include a new western ticket hall for the Metropolitan and Circle Lines, improvements to the existing tube ticket hall, and better access for people with restricted mobility. The scheme has been designed to avoid disrupting the existing station which handles over 70M passengers a year.
(see Analysis page 12)