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Opening of square marks end of King’s Cross redevelopment

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A £550 million redevelopment of King’s Cross has reached the end of the line with today’s official opening of the station’s new public square.

King’s Cross Square is the next stage of a large-scale upgrade that has seen the station go from being one of London’s least popular sites to a passenger favourite.

Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Network Rail’s chief executive, Sir David Higgins, will declare the square open this morning (September 26).

The opening of the new 75,000 sq ft square follows the completion of the new western concourse in March 2012 and other improvements to the existing station, including the construction of platform 0.

Work only began on the new square in September last year following the end of Olympic Games.

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The process has seen the demolition of the unpopular old concourse.

The original facade has spent most of its life hidden since it was built in 1852. As well as the 1970s green concourse, various shops and commercial premises have been built in front of the station in the past 150 years, blocking passengers’ view of the Grade 1-listed station building.

“It’s really going to go back to what was envisaged,” said Matt Tolan, programme manager at Network Rail.

“For us it is really important that we’ve brought that back to the community.”

Unveiling the new square, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I have been travelling to and from my Derbyshire constituency for years and I remember when King’s Cross and St Pancras were not places you would hang around. Now it is a destination in its own right.

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“The official opening of King’s Cross Square marks the completion of one of the largest station modernisation projects across our national rail network and one of the government’s top infrastructure projects.

“With more platforms, a redesigned concourse and improved facilities, work at this iconic station has transformed the experience of thousands of rail passengers travelling into London for the better.”

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