A pedestrian link between two busy train stations has finally opened to the public after an 18-year delay.

The public footpath is named Ray Dudley Way and connects Walthamstow Central and Queen's Road. 

It has been named in honour of Mr Dudley, a long-serving campaigner and member of the Barking to Gospel Oak Rail User Group (BGORUG), who helped lead the fight for the pathway to be built and opened to the public. 

Planning permission was agreed in 1996 for the pathway, which cuts the average walking journey time by ten minutes.

But legal wrangles meant work was not carried out as promised by The family Housing Association as part of its development of Exeter Road.  

The council took the case to the High Court in an attempt to secure progress.

The authority then secured an agreement to carry out the work and charge the housing association.

In 2008 Solum Regeneration agreed to build the path as part of its housing and hotel development next to Walthamstow Central. 

Permission was granted in 2011, but further delays ensued, with a defect in a ramp blamed for the latest deadline of June being missed. 

Glenn Wallis, secretary of BGORUG, has campaigned for many years to see the pedestrian link opened. 

He said: "It's hard to believe it's actually happened after waiting 18 years. 

"Walthamstow Central is now no more than a five minute walk to Queen's Road making life so much easier for people using both stations who previously had to walk around dozens of side roads. 

"We look forward to the council making its finishing touches for the official opening next month."

An official opening event is scheduled to take place on September 28.