All of this post bar this introduction has appeared on aspi.blog a few moments ago. Because the road at the heart of it all is Exhbition Road, London, close to both South Kensington and Gloucester Road (each served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) I am also posting it here. Here is a satellite view of the area:
WHAT IS A SHARED SPACE ROAD?
A shared space road is a road without pavements, with no clear distinctions between where cars, cyclists and pedestrians should be. According to some this arrangement reduces accidents. However, a recent incident on London’s Exhibition Road has called this into question. Here is a tweet from campaign group Transport forAll:
This (to me) raises two questions to be taken in turn:
CAN SHARED SPACE ROADS WORK?
I am uncertain on this one and will welcome evidence from people with experience of shared space roads in their localities. My own view is that they could work but the following is necessary:
Clear signage explaining what a shared space road is and what that means.
A very low speed limit for motor vehicles (even lower than the 20mph which is now commonplace in the vicinity of schools) fiercely enforced – speeding on a shared space street should be punished more severely than speeding elsewhere because of the greater risk of hitting someone.
Referring back to my first bullet point it needs to made clear that motorists are always expected to give way to cyclists and pedestrians.
Given what I know of London drivers I do not think that London is the right city to be trialling these (although Rome and Paris would both clearly by even worse options!)
SHOULD EXHIBITION ROAD BE A SHARED SPACE ROAD?
Absolutely not – it should be completely pedestrianised. There are excellent public transport connections in this part of the world.
In this post I will talking about a well known London attraction and giving some information about its transport connections.
This museum contains artefacts from the whole of London’s history and has some stuff from longer ago than that. I visited this museum many times when I lived in London. I will mention three highlights, a window that looks out on to a section of the Roman walls, a cross section of a street from the surface downwards, showing where stuff of various ages is to be found and the Lord Mayor of London’s carriage, which is on display there except when it is out on parade. This latter gives me on opportunity to advertise publicly a London Transport themed poster which is lot 737 in James and Sons’ October auction (Wednesday 26th, The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich – starts at 10AM, so this item will go under the hammer at about 3PM, if you would like to bid online click here).
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS FOR THE MUSEUM OF LONON
This post will finish with a map showing where the museum is located. It is effectively in the centre of a triangle formed by Barbican (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle), Moorgate (Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle, mainline railways) and St Paul’s (Central). For those visiting from outside London, according to where you arrive my suggestions would be as follows:
Euston – choose between heading for the Northern line, Bank branch and travelling to Moorgate or crossing Euston Road to Euston Square station and getting an eastbound train to Barbican.
Marylebone – take the short walk to Baker Street and get and eastbound train to Barbican
Paddington – head for the Hammersmith and City line platforms, which are structurally part of the main station and get an eastbound train to Barbican (do not be tempted by the District and Circle line platforms, which are so far distant that they should not be classed as part of the same station).
If you arrive by coach: some inbound coaches to London call at Marble Arch, in which case you can take an eastbound Central line train to St Pauls, otherwise you will arrive at Victoria Coach Station, in which case…
Victoria – while you could travel round the Circle line it would be quicker to take the Victoria line to King’s Cross and change, either to get a Hammersmith & City/ Circle/ Metropolitan train to Barbican or a Northern line train to Moorgate.
Waterloo/Waterloo East/ Charing Cross: another two way choice – the Jubilee line to Baker Street and change to an eastbound train to Barbican or take the Waterloo & City to Bank and change to the Northern or Central lines for the journey to St Pauls or Moorgate respectively. Please note that given that the station there is on the wrong branch of the Northern and the Bakerloo lines you are indubitably better off walking across the Thames to Waterloo to begin your underground journey (although north along to the northern to Tottenham Court Road and changing to the Central line is a possibility).
London Bridge: Northern to Moorgate (a mere two stops, definitely not worth changing to the Central at Bank, especially given the labyrinthine layout of that station).
Fenchurch Street: get a Circle line train round to Moorgate (you do not save enough walking time for the extra stop to Barbican to be worth it).
Liverpool Street: you could simply walk from here, but a westbound Circle/Metropolitan/ Hammersmith & City line train to Moorgate is also a possible (the descent to the Central line is not worthwhile IMO).
Moorgate: you are already there, but there is a point of interest – the section of line from Finsbury Park to Moorgate has twice been part of London Underground, once administered as part of the Metropolitan line and once as part of the Northern line.
This post focuses on a single station. The idea developed from a conversation with a work colleague in which trips to London were mentioned and he explained that with a family of four it was cheaper to drive to Epping, stay overnight at a hotel there and use London Underground from there than to travel by train.
THE NORTHEASTERN CORNER
Epping, first served by London Underground in 1940 (the whole stretch of the Central line beyond Stratford started life as Great Eastern Railway branch line, and Loughton, three stops south of Epping, still has its Victorian era GER building), is now the north-eastern limit of the system (more of this later, and also see the speculative section of the piece about the central line). There is cheap hotel accommodation close to the station, which means the for folk who would naturally approach the city from the northeast and drive it is a good place to choose as a base for a visit to the capital. Because of its interchanges with every other line on the system the central line is a good one to be based on, as Danny Dorling in “The 32 Stops”, the best of the penguin series celebrating the 150th anniversary of London Underground, points out. A few examples of major attractions and the necessary connections follow:
The museums of South Kensington (either change at Mile End to the District or at Holborn to the Piccadilly according to choice, bonus tip: take a picnic with you and lunch in Hyde Park).
Maritime Greenwich – change at Stratford to the Docklands Light Railway and choose one of two possibilities:
1)Alight at Island Gardens and take the foot tunnel to the Greenwich side of the Thames, returning to Greenwich having finished your explorations or…
2)Unimaginatively alight at Cutty Sark to start your explorations there.
The British Museum – no changes needed as Tottenham Court Road is only a few hundred yards away.
The South Bank Centre – change at Tottenham Court Road to the Northern and go south to Embankment, strolling across the Thames from there (this is definitely quicker than travelling the extra stop to Waterloo).
At the moment Epping is at the outside edge of fare zone 6, although London mayoral candidate Sian Berryhas an excellent idea that will change this – see the following:
Having detailed Epping’s value as a base our next section looks at…
THINGS TO DO IN EPPING
I mentioned earlier that Epping was not always the end of the line. Until 1994 the line ran to Ongar, although the section between Epping and Ongar was run as a shuttle service, making it feel very isolated. It is this that is at the centre of Epping based activities. There is a walking route from Epping to Ongar as detailed in “Country Walks Around London”, walk 12. This walk is 5 miles in length, meaning that an energetic person could choose to do it both ways.
However, there is also an alternative way of doing the same route, namely making use of the Epping-Ongar Railway, the longest heritage railway in Essex. Thus, if you want to explore this area that used by served by London Underground (and the village of Chipping Ongar is certainly worth a visit) you have a raft of options according to your energy levels:
Walk both ways
Walk out, Epping and Ongar Railway back
Epping and Ongar railway out, walk back
Epping and Ongar railway both ways
MAPS AND DIAGRAMS
Here are some pictures to help put Epping in context…
The first piece of writing I offered the public about London Underground was a blog post about this station. From that start grew this website, I now produce a new piece about…
In 1868, The Metropolitan District Railway was opened as a partner to the Metropolitan Railway, with the intention of among other things creating an ‘Inner Circle’ linking all of central London’s main destinations. Due to frequent squabbles between the two organisations it was 16 years before the circle was completed. A legacy of this fractious beginning can be seen in the now unused bay platform that was created for the use of Metropolitan Railway trains. In 1906 the deep-level part of the station opened, when an amalgamation of parts of three proposed schemes opened running between Finsbury Park and Hammersmith (this is the nucleus of the modern Piccadilly line, since extended north to Cockfosters and having subsumed the Uxbridge and Hounslow branches of the District).
The chief point of interest of this station’s location are the museums which are close by. This is recognised in the presence of an underground passage from the ticket hall to Exhibition Road, with exits at the appropriate point for each museum. The number of museums in this area has reduced by one since I was a child because the Geological and Natural History museums were amalgamated to form one giant museum. There are now three major museums in this area:
The Royal College of Music is based on Prince Consort Road, very close to the Albert Hall, just south of Hyde Park. I have a map which makes it’s relevance to this station very obvious. Yet another famous place in this area.
A COUPLE OF ARCHITECTURAL QUIRKS
For those who shun the underground passageway referred to above, there is a small shopping arcade of the type that many London Underground stations used to have, and some attractive 1868 ironwork to have a look at.
MAPS – ANCIENT & MODERN
I conclude this post with some maps showing the station’s history and modern connections…