Bus starts using Dalston Junction ‘interchange’ amid anger over ‘�63million’ bill

The transport interchange above Dalston Junction station has been branded “the most expensive bus stand in history”, amid claims costs have spiralled to almost �63million.

The single-decker 488 is now the only route to use a new bus stop on the Dalston Square development, after the service was extended.

But its arrival has sparked renewed anger among campaigners, who say the interchange, known as the slab, is responsible for the destruction of historic Dalston.

‘Waste of money’

The budget for the scheme, which was to host up to 80 services an hour, was �39million, but it may have overrun by �24million, according to Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff, who says he has seen London Development Agency (LDA) estimates.

He said: “This is an appalling, jaw-dropping waste of public money on a single bus stop. The implication of this bus turnaround is not just the spend of �63million but the knock-on effect, which was the loss of historic Dalston and the buy-to-let properties which are Dalston Square.

“It was an appallingy bad decision and it should be held as an example of how not to do town planning in the future.”

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Much of the old centre of Dalston was demolished to make way for the slab, which laid the foundations for tower blocks and the interchange.

Funding for the project is from Hackney Council, Transport for London (TfL), London Development Agency and Barratt Developments.

A council spokeswoman said the development is bringing much-needed regeneration to the area, including more than 600 homes, shops, a library, and a station and transport interchange.

Bill Parry-Davis, founding member of Open Dalston, said: “Open warned the authorities back in 2005 that it would be the most expensive bus stand in history. But we were ignored and they’ve built a huge white elephant.”

A TfL spokesman said it did not recognise LDA figure and said the complex was “far more than a single bus stop”.