The Anonymous Widower

The Former BHS Building

I always remember this building as the BHS Building, which I used to use as a cut-through from Regent Street to John Lewis.

Some years before it closed, BHS cut off this route and I never bought anything in an Arcadia Group store again!

So I certainly have no affection for this heap of concrete.

If the Cavendish Square development goes ahead, that I wrote about in The Proposed Development Under Cavendish Square, I think that this building will be drawn into the development.

  • It has a substantial frontage on Oxford Street.
  • It could be key to giving step-free access between Oxford Circus station and the Cavendish Square development.
  • It could provide step-free access to Oxford Circus station.

Would anybody miss it, if it were to be demolished?

I wonder, who owns this building.

 

December 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Thoughts On Step-Free Access At Oxford Circus Station

The London Underground station most in need of step-free access is probably Oxford Circus, where the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines have a cross-platform step-free interchange, which connects to the Central Line.

  • Oxford Circus is the third-busiest station on the Underground.
  • The capacity of the station probably limits the capacity of the Victoria Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the lines through the station.

Note.

  1. The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines
  2. The Central Line running East-West under Oxford Street.
  3. Crossrail is shown by dotted lines, passing to the South of the station..

South of the Central Line, it would probably be difficult to squeeze in lifts and more escalators, but to the North, there may be space for another entrance building.

  • The great advantage of making either the Victoria or Bakerloo Lines at Oxford Circus step-free, is that the other one will get it as well.
  • I think it will probably depend on which of the buildings in the area, need to be replaced.
  • I also suspect that the areas under Oxford Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street are well surveyed, as there has been continuous development of Oxford Circus station since the 1960s.

On the other hand, the opening of Crossrail, with a new entrance to Bond Street station in Hanover Square, may mean that passenger numbers reduce at Oxford Circus, thus allowing a simpler solution.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very innovative solution to provide step-free access at Oxford Circus station.

I feel that the Proposed Shopping Centre Under Cavendish Square could be the elephant in the room.

  • An upmarket shopping centre and medical centre needs good access for taxis, cars and public transport.
  • Cavendish Square was used to build the Victoria Line.
  • Tunnelling techniques have improved since the 1960s.

This Google Map shows Cavendish Square and the area between the square and Oxford Circus station.

Consider the four corners of the map..

  • Oxford Circus station is in the South-East corner.
  • Harley Street is just on the map at the North-West corner.
  • The BBC is just off the map in the North-East corner.
  • John Lewis’s flagship store occupies the South-West corner.

But perhaps the most interesting building is the former BHS flagship store, that lies to the East of John Lewis, with Cavendish Square to the North and Oxford Street to the South.

The proposed development under Cavendish Square will be upmarket and it will need high quality access to attract tenants, visitors and clients.

  • I doubt there will be masses of car parking, although they could probably dig up to a hundred metres below the square. Could there be an automatic car park, where vehicles are taken and stacked deep underground?
  • Good access for taxis, private hire vehicles and delivery trucks will be needed..I suspect that planning permission, would specify electric vehicles only.
  • The Bond Street station complex, with Crossrail, Central and Jubilee Lines is perhaps two hundred metres away. I feel the developers of Cavendish Square, will see access to Crossrail as being essential.
  • Oxford Street station is closer, but good access will be needed between the station and Cavendish Square.

Access to Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations would probably be via wide, deep tunnels with travelators as are being installed to solve the horrendous access problems at Bank station.

The former BHS building could be key in any design.

  • The BHS building has a superb location.
  • Tunnels between the two stations and the Cavendish Square complex could go via any development of the BHS building.
  • It might be possible to go higher on the site.
  • It might even be possible to put another station on the Central Line in the basement.

There is certainly a lot of scope for an innovative solution at Oxford Circus station.

December 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The BHS Collapse Turns Nasty

The top story on the BBC web site today is entitled BHS collapse: Sir Philip Green demands ‘biased’ MP Frank Field resigns.

I don’t think I would get on well with either Sir Philip Green or Frank Field, but as I don’t have to, it’s very much irrelevant.

Reading Green’s Wikipedia entry, says to me that we have too many differences and a friend once had a serious difference of opinion with Field, which makes me feel that I wouldn’t get on with him either.

My personal view on BHS was expressed in How Many Shoppers Will Mourn The Death of BHS?

I think for a start, it has to be asked, how BHS got into the sorry state they were before the collapse!

I shall be taking strong interest in when Green and Field meet next week.

If the meeting ever takes place!

 

June 11, 2016 Posted by | Business, News | , | 1 Comment

How Many Shoppers Will Mourn The Death Of BHS?

I suspect, I’ve not been into BHS to buy anything this century.

I used to use the one in Ipswich occasionally, as they had a very conveniently placed toilet if you were passing on the way between a lunchtime pub and the football. But now that I live in London, when I go to the football, my route is different and the station and the ground have good toilets as well.

I also used to use their Oxford Street store, as a cut-through from Oxford Circus station to John Lewis, especially when it was raining. But about five years ago, BHS blocked the route off, so that ended my visits to that store.

I shan’t be bothered if all the BHS stores in the country close. And I suspect most people, unless it effects their employment won’t be bothered either.

In fact, it might be better for me, as I wonder if John Lewis will take over the Oxford Street store and use it innovatively with their flagship store next door.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | World | , | 4 Comments