Hackney Wick station will be open during Games, TfL reassures worried businesses and residents

TfL has reassured businesses and commuters that Hackney Wick’s westbound platform will be open during the Olympics, following fears last week that it would be closed.

Businesses thought they would lose thousands of pounds when the Get Ahead of the Games website said that passengers could not board or exit westbound trains at Hackney Wick between July 27 and August 12.

But TfL confirmed that plans have changed and the westbound platform will become ‘exit only’ after 1pm each day. Passengers going to Homerton will have to travel east to Stratford and then back on themselves, making the three minute journey take up to 17 minutes.

Hackney Wick restaurant owner James Morgan said he is pleased that the platform is open but said “it’s not ideal”.

He claims incorrect timetables are still being distributed, including at his restaurant, The Hackney Pearl, on Prince Edward Road.

Fifty people signed a letter to MP Meg Hillier and London Assembly Member Jenette Arnold, which said: “If people think they cannot come to Hackney Wick, it will have the same outcome as if they actually can’t.”

They are calling for incorrect timetables to be withdrawn and correct information displayed.

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Mr Morgan added: “I would prefer they should have a managed situation to let people get on the train if it’s not busy or have some trains start at Hackney Wick or keep one empty carriage reserved. I think that would solve the problem.

“I don’t want to discourage people from coming to Hackney Wick. I just want everything to be as convenient as possible. I don’t think the situation was handled very well by TfL.”

Commuter Natalie Holness, of Cadogan Terrace, said: “I have got to get to work through the Games and it’s mental. Just because we live near the Games they don’t care.”

Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer of TfL London Rail explained the change of plan: “Throughout our planning process we have engaged with key stakeholders. We have been in regular discussion with the London Borough of Hackney, Greater London Authority and others, and have taken their views and recommendations into consideration.

“We have also listened to the views and needs of local residents and as a result have reviewed our plans and worked with others to provide additional staffing, to allow Hackney Wick westbound platform to become ‘exit only’ after 13.00hrs between 27 July and 12 August.”