As frustrated commuters and local constituents know all too well, Victoria Tube Station has been bursting at the seams in recent years, unable to cope with the sheer volume of people passing through its doors each day.
Transport for London has made the upgrade of the station one of its priorities and work towards its complete overhaul is well underway. On 8 July, Mark and his team were invited down to the station by London Underground’s David Waboso and his remarkable team to hear about how the new and improved station will increase capacity and to learn about the many challenges facing them in a project of such staggering complexity.
The works will be completed by 2018 and include a brand new ticket hall in Cardinal Place (so no more road-crossing for people walking down Victoria Street!), nine new escalators, step-free access and a remodelled and greatly-expanded ticket hall at Victoria Station.
Mark and the team were taken into some of the new tunnels and learned about the specific challenges of the site, such as the tricky London soil and undertaking so much work while trying to minimise disruption as far as possible to residents and travellers.
To learn more, click http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/2359.aspx
Caxton Youth Club
Last week Mark made a visit to Caxton Youth Club to learn more about the fantastic work being done to support young disabled constituents and their families living in SW1. He had a great time chatting to the young people about their interests, especially football (and the ups and downs of supporting Bury FC!). Caxton offers a range of services, including education and skills programmes that help young disabled people to live independent and fulfilled lives. To learn more, click http://www.caxtonyouth.org/what-we-do/
City of London Gin Distillery
On Tuesday, Mark and the team visited one of the constituency’s only manufacturers, a brand new gin distillery just behind St Bride’s Church. Master Distiller Jamie Baxter crafts a vodka (COLD Vodka) and a gin (City of London Dry Gin) in two beautiful copper stills which are framed behind huge glass windows. Around 250 bottles of vodka, and 200 bottles of gin are produced per distillation run, with each bottle labelled with its batch number.
They were told all about the sordid and fascinating history of gin in the City by barman, Leon, who has just become a London resident himself after migrating from Manchester, and learned how the gin is distilled and flavoured to produce a premium product.