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Ray Dudley Way

It may have been a long time coming – with plans going back to the mid-1990s – but at last Waltham Forest Council has been able to open the footpath linking Walthamstow’s two mainline stations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 26 September announcing the official opening of Ray Dudley Way.

The footpath is named after a dedicated campaigner who worked to get the link opened between the two stations for many years. Unfortunately Ray, a member of the Barking-Gospel Oak Line User Group (BGORUG), died in April 2005, but was remembered at the event by having the footpath named in his honour.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “It’s wonderful that this day has finally arrived given the many years of hard work the Council and other stakeholders such as Ray and people like Glenn Wallis, the Secretary of BGORUG, have carried out to see it come to fruition.

“People looking at the opening of a footpath from afar may wonder what all the fuss is about, but any locals who have needed to change trains from Walthamstow Queen’s Road to Walthamstow Central will know what a trek it has been.”

Until now people wishing to walk between the two stations have had to follow a rather circuitous 700 metre (0.4 mile) route along Edinburgh Road, Shrubland Road, Sylvan Road, Priory Avenue, Hoe Street and Station Approach. The new station interchange cuts this distance in half to 330 metres (0.2 miles) – saving about five minutes walking time. The shortcut will also provide improved access to the residents of the Edison Close estate.

Walthamstow Queen’s Road is on the Barking to Gospel Oak line, which is part of the London Overground, while Walthamstow Central is a north-south rail route operated by Abellio Greater Anglia which connects London Liverpool Street with Chingford. Walthamstow Central is also the northern terminus of the Victoria Line on the London Underground and the location of Walthamstow Bus Station – the third busiest in London.

The route has been enhanced by the broader regeneration of Walthamstow Central. Part of the planning condition for the newly completed Travelodge and residential development at the station was the construction of a new pedestrian footway through the car park along Station Approach to link up with the Ray Dudley Way footpath.

It has finally been possible to open the link thanks to the completion of a new station entrance (via a wheelchair accessible ramp) at Walthamstow Queen’s Road station. The ramp, equipped with a new ticket machine, Oyster readers, lighting, CCTV and signage, was transferred to Waltham Forest Council in August 2014.

PHOTO: Cllr Loakes cuts the ribbon at Ray Dudley Way.

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