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Wednesday, 29 April, 1998, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
New every Mornington
Mornington Crescent station was closed in 1992 for urgent repairs to its lifts, but London Underground decided on a wholesale refurbishment of the station.

However, work stopped in early 1993 when funding became a problem, and London Underground began to look at the social need for the station. At one stage there were fears that Mornington Crescent would never reopen. But pressure from Camden Council persuaded Tube bosses to press ahead.

Brand new lifts, fitted with a back-up system to bring passengers directly to the surface in an emergency, have been installed along with a new staircase, ticket barriers and closed circuit cameras.

London Underground map
Most of the work was finished before Christmas, but stringent fire regulations introduced after the 1988 King's Cross fire delayed the opening until safety chiefs were satisfied.

Before its closure the station used to handle 7,000 passengers a day. Once re-opened it will relieve the huge pressure on Camden Town station, half a mile away.

Painted by artists

The station was built in 1900 and was originally known as Seymour Street. Artists from the influential Camden Town group, including Spencer Gore and Walter Sickert, painted it.

The red-glazed terracotta structure is considered to be architecturally significant and is a Grade Two listed building.

The reopening of Mornington Crescent could mark the beginning of a tubular renaissance.

London Underground, buoyed by 365m grant from the Government, is planning to carry out overdue work on tunnels, escalators and station buildings.

Expansion plans

Further down the line, the Jubilee Line extension - to Stratford via Greenwich - should be ready by the end of 1999.

Several Labour MPs in south and east London have been pushing for an extension of the East London Line to Hackney and Lewisham.

At 350m this would be considerably cheaper than the Hackney-Chelsea line which was suggested by the last government but never got off the ground.

But the progress of either scheme could depend on the success of the government's plans to fund the tube with private money.

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