The Anonymous Widower

Small-Scale Connectivity To Crossrail

I live about twenty-five minutes from my nearest Crossrail station at Moorgate on a 141 bus and as I walked around today, I just wondered what will be the best way to access London’s new East-West rail line when it opens in a few years time.

So what do I mean by small-scale connectivity?

I think it is best defined as any method that isn’t more than perhaps ten stations on heavy rail, light rail, the Underground or trams.

And of course, you might substitute Thameslink for Crossrail! Or if you don’t live in London, it could be your major cross-city line.

So in my case, the following would be small-scale connectivity to Crossrail.

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Car
  • Taxi
  • Bus

I do have a heavy rail link to Crossrail in the form of the East London Line between Dalston Junction and Whitechapel, so that will be included as it is only a short stretch of line of four stations.

These are the methods available to me in Dalston.


For good connectivity, the walking routes around a station should be properly mapped and signposted on a physical wayfinding system, like Legible London used all over the capital.

I also think it is essential that a common format is used, along a line.

So this probably means that London will decide how walking maps and signposts at Crossrail stations in Essex and Berkshire will look.

Will that be acceptable to towns and cities, that have called in consultants to design their ideal wayfinding system?

One problem with wayfinding systems, is that in some places the locals who know the city or area well, say they don’t need the system and think it a waste of money.

You also have the problem in areas with more than one local authority, that each go their own way, rather than agree on a common system.

Remember too, that London is so large, that the average resident finds themselves regularly in an area of the city they don’t know. So Londoners on the whole are very pro-Legible London.

I feel that we need to impose the same wayfinding system all over the UK.


Just as there should be good walking routes to a station, the cycling routes should be obvious and well-signposted.

And if  bikes are provided for hire at the station, the payment system must be compatible with London’s.

Perhaps we need a nationwide bike hire system?


Many people will want to drive to their local Crossrail station and park their car before they get the train.

i have a feeling that when Crossrail opens, the biggest complaint will be the lack of car parking at stations.


For about the last three months, I’ve been suffering badly from plantar fasciitis and because of the limited mobility, it gives me at times, I now feel very strongly that every Crossrail station, should have a proper black taxi rank.

Recently Transport for London have announced that one of my local stations; Highbury and Islington, is going to have a taxi rank. I have yet to find a taxi driver who is against the idea and I believe this could be a winner for both passengers and black cab drivers.


Every London rail and tube station is a bus hub with its own spider map, which details all of the buses and their routes from the area. This is my lovcal bus spider map for Dalston.

Dalston Bus Spider Map

Dalston Bus Spider Map

Venture outside of London and in many places, bus mapping is often missing or very bad to give it the benefit of the doubt.

As with walking maps, local authorities outside of London with a Crossrail station, will have to adopt London’s system.

Other Rail Lines

Crossrail does connect to quite a number of heavy rail, Underground and Overground Lines.

  • Bakerloo Line
  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • East London Line
  • Great Eastern Main Line
  • Great Western Main Line
  • HS1 – After extension to Gravesend
  • HS2 – After Old Oak Common
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • North Kent Line
  • Northern Line
  • Northern City Line
  • North London Line
  • Thameslink
  • West Anglia Main Line
  • West Coast Main Line – After extension to West Coast Main Line
  • West London Line

I have included links to extensions to Gravesend and the West Coast Main Line and Old Oak Common in this list.

Small Branch Lines

But it also  connects with several smaller branch lines or perhaps in the future, some tram and light rail lines.

I believe that Local Authorities will develop these smaller lines and create others to maximise their benefit from Crossrail,

A Metro In The East

The two lines that I think have the most likely chance of being developed, are the Romford to Upminster and Shenfield to Southend Lines.

  • The main line rail company; c2c, is very ambitious.
  • In the next couple of decades, South East Essex will be an important economic growth area.
  • Better links are needed to Southend Airport and the London Gateway.
  • There is substantial development of jobs, housing and leisure opportunities in the areas the lines serve.
  • Give the people of Essex an opportunity and they embrace it fully.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a substantial metro network created in the area, based on Billericay, Shenfield, Southend and Thurrock.

A Metro In The West

If a metro network can be successfully developed at the eastern end of Crossrail, is there the potential of creating something similar at the western end?


  • Heathrow dominates thinking in West London and feels that everybody should jump to its tune.
  • Heathrow should wake up to the fact that it will never get a third runway, as London’s electorate will always vote to block this.
  • There will always be a Heathrow, but in time, it will cease to dominate the air travel market in the UK, as it does now!
  • Heathrow has very limited rail connections to Basingstoke, Reading and the West.
  • If you look at the list of small branch lines, several are clustered around the western end of Crossrail, with its two hub stations of Slough and Reading.

A metro in the west could be developed based on hubs at Basingstoke, Heathrow, Slough and Reading. The Windsor Link Railway is surely thinking along those lines.

A Metro In The South East

Of all the stations on Crossrail, Abbey Wood is one of the most disappointing.

As a terminus for Crossrail, that connects to the North Kent Line and to services to South East London and the Dartford area, four platforms doesn’t seem enough, when you compare the station to the other terminals of Reading and Shenfield.

Transport for London have proposed that the Gospel Oak to Barking Line could cross the river to serve Abbey Wood and if this should happen, there must be opportunities to create another metro system based on Abbey Wood.

A Metro In The North

There are proposals to extend Crossrail to Milton Keynes from Old Oak Common.

This would surely, bring in the possibility of a network of local lines based on Watford.

  • The Abbey Line is one of those difficult-to-run lines, that needs substantial improvement.
  • The Croxley Rail Link could be expanded to serve Amersham.
  • Local services on the West Coast Main Line and the Watford DC Line are very crowded.

This will only be developed once Crossrail serves Watford.


Crossrail in 2030, will be an entirely different line to that being created today.

February 28, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , ,

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