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Commuters are set to benefit from a footbridge between two Hackney train stations.

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The council’s planning committee approved TfL’s application to build a footbridge between Hackney Central Overground station in Amhurst Road and Hackney Downs rail station in Dalston Lane on Wednesday.

Proposals include the construction of a part low-level and part high-level passenger walkway between platform two at Hackney Central Overground station and platform one at Hackney Downs rail station, as well as a staircase and lift.

TfL say footpath will cut across Malpas Close and Poulton Close, reducing the route between the two stations from 600 metres to 200. This would not impact the travelling time, which is currently about five minutes.

An estimated 165,000 people a year take the street level route to change between the two stations.

With Hackney Downs station coming into the Overground network from the end of 2015, TfL expect the number people using the footbridge to increase by an additional 150,000 passengers in its first year.

Five letters of objections were received in response to the proposals.

The main objections included noise, the reduction in size of a children’s playground in Marcon Place, which would need to be closed during construction work. There were also concerns the number of car parking spaces at Hackney Central Overground station would be reduced.

Hackney Central ward cllr Vincent Stops welcomed the news. He said: “It is quite exciting that this proposal remakes an historic connection between Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations that was lost in 1944. It will greatly benefit Hackney residents and those visiting Hackney Central town centre. Now permission has been obtained I am determined that Marcon and Aspland Estate benefits both in terms of the re-provision of play facilities and that the green wall and tree cover really improves the outlook of residents and reduces train noise, a long standing issue for the estate.”

Transport for London’s director of London Overground, Mike Stubbs, said: “The new covered walkway between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central stations is part of TfL’s wider objective to make all of its rail stations more accessible, more secure and easier to use. The Hackney Interchange will reduce journey times by making it much quicker and easier for passengers wanting to change between West Anglia services and the London Overground network and so give them new options on how they complete their journeys. Interchanging at Hackney will also reduce congestion at Liverpool Street station, which is currently where many passengers travel before changing to other services.”

Construction is expected to start in spring or summer this year and take nine months to complete.

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