The Anonymous Widower

The Connection From Waterloo East Station To Southwark Tube Station Is Only For The Young, Fit And Agile

My mother’s advice as a Ponders Plonker (her words) from North London, advised me never to go South of the Thames as you’d get lost or have trouble.

Today, I wanted to do a bit of shopping, as one does, and thought I’d go to Bluewater for a change, as I needed a John Lewis, a big Marks and Spencer, and preferably a Carluccio’s for a pit stop. Westfield doesn’t have a John Lewis, Eastfield is a gluten-free desert and Oxford Street is often crowded.

So Bluewater seemed a good idea at the time! It was as I got all I needed and the Shopping Centre was very quiet.

For Bluewater, you go to Greenhithe station and get a bus, but today there had been a derailment on the North Kent Line at Charlton as reported in this article in the Standard, so my preferred route to Greenhithe via the Overground and the DLR to Greenwich or Woolwich Arsenal was blocked. So I had to go to Charing Cross station to get a direct train to Greenhithe via Sidcup or some such place in the wilderness that is South London.

I got to Greenhithe and Bluewater with just the odd delay and after a successful shop, I returned to Greenhithe with a bag from M & S, to be told that there were still delays, but a direct train to Charing Cross would be arriving in six minutes.

So I took it and was treated to a tour of places I didn’t know. I had hoped the train would stop at Lewisham, so I could cut off the corner using the DLR to Shadwell and then the Overground to Dalston Junction for a bus home.

But it didn’t!

So I decided that as Waterloo East station has an interchange with Southwark station on the Jubilee Line, that it would be easier to change there and go to Canada Water for the Overground.

Southwark station was built for the Jubilee Line Extension in 1999, so I assumed that it would be an easy modern connection with a full spectrum of stairs, escalators and lifts.

First, I had to walk to the far end of the platform and then descend a long flight of fairly steep steps to a concourse below. I’ve certainly been on worse flights of steps in the Underground, but it didn’t prepare me for what I would encounter. Instead of an escalator from the concourse to the Jubilee line platforms, I found that the down escalator was under repair and I would be expected to descend a set of steps you’d more likely find in the Swiss Alps.

There wasn’t even a warning like there is at Hampstead tube station, but it was certainly more difficult than the steps there.

So I turned back and asked the guy on the gate, where the Way Out was. But there isn’t one! He told me, you had to go back to the platform and then use the bridge to Waterloo. So I had to climb back up the first set of stairs and in the end got a train to Charing Cross to come home by means of the District Line and the Overground.

My company, Metier Management Systems supplied Artemis software to do the project management for the Jubilee Line Extension. I have heard some odd stories about this project which had to be finished before the Millennium, so that the Great and Good could get to the Dome.

The guy on the gate did tell me that Transport for London tried to get an entrance to the concourse, but the residents objected. Whoever heard of a train station without a Way Out to the street?

At the present this interchange is an accident waiting to happen and there are no signs discouraging those who are not of a supreme fitness level from taking the route.

There are signs pointing to the Jubilee Line on the platforms at Waterloo East and after going through the barriers for those at Waterloo East, you are opposite the barriers for Southwark Tube station, which is only accessible by the extremely steep stairs.

Something needs to be done!

I could have probably managed it, if I wasn’t carrying my bag from Bluewater.

But I am a person, who doesn’t take unnecessary risks.

June 3, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] had been a freight train derailment at Charlton and I did have a terrible journey home, with a dreadful change at Waterloo East. Without the train derailment, I would have gone using the DRL to Woolwich Arsenal and then getting […]

    Pingback by Bluewater Shopping Centre By Train « The Anonymous Widower | June 5, 2015 | Reply

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