The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Step-Free Access At Manor House Station

I use Manor House station regularly, as I have a bus-stop by my house, that is perhaps fifty metres from my front door, that connects to the station.

  • There is also a zebra crossing to get to the other side of the road.
  • The 141 bus actually connects me to Manor House, Turnpike Lane and Wood Green stations on the Piccadilly Line.
  • This is because it was a replacement for the 641 trolley-bus route that used to run between Winchmore Hill and Moorgate via. Milmay Park.
  • I also use the station as a convenient station to go West on the Piccadilly Line.
  • As it connects step-free at Finsbury Park station to the Victoria Line, it certainly has its uses.

Click this link to see an excellent photo of a 641 trolley-bus at Manor House station.

The pub in the photo was the Manor House, where I saw such performers as John Mayall and Eric Clapton amongst others.

I took these pictures today

The station has an unusual layout.

      • Two major roads; the Seven Sisters Road (A503) and Green Lanes (A 105) cross at the station.
      • The four major roads are all controlled by traffic lights, which also allow pedestrians to cross the major roads safely on the surface.
      • There are a couple of staircases at each corner of the junction and these lead down to a maze of passages that connect these entrances to the escalators that lead up and down to the platforms.
      • The former Manor House pub and a new Travel Lodge sit opposite each other on the junction.
      • The Travel Lodge sits on the South-West corner.
      • The North-West corner leads directly into Finsbury Park., which is not a bad place to go for a walk or a jog.

The below ground subways in the station are all level.

The staircases between subway and street level are very reminiscent of those at Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square stations.

The staircases also have some excellent period details.

But then they tend to do things as they should in my part of North London.

This picture was taken after a World Cup Third!

What will happen, if England win the Euros?

Manor House station’s design can best be summed up as two level areas connected by a series of staircases.

  • Central London stations with this layout include Bank, Cockfosters, Kings Cross St. Pancras,Leicester Square, Manor House, Piccadilly Circus. Tottenham Court Road and Victoria.
  • At least Cockfosters, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Tottenham Court Road and Victoria have lifts between the two levels.
  • Bank station will have more lifts than Oti Mabusi in a dance routine, after the rebuild.
  • Old Street was similar, but Transport for London (TfL) are rebuilding the station.

Cockfosters has level access at both the surface and the platform level and they have sneaked in a lift in a corner of the station.

Grandparents in a wheel-chair or Louis or Lilibet in a pushchair can easily be taken easily between train and the car-park.I am certain, that if there are a number of lifts at the four corners of the road junction at Manor House, then access both to the station and across the junction will be substantially eased.

That just leaves us with the problem of getting between subway and platform levels.

This map from cartometro.com shows the platform layout.

Note that as at Turnpike Lane station in this platform layout, there is also a generous space between the platforms.

The two escalators and a set of stairs face North.

Wood Green station is a bit different, as it has a turnback siding

The two escalators and a set of stairs also face South.

When I used to use the Piccadilly Line in the 1960s, it tended to be pain, if a Wood Green train turned up, when you wanted  to go to Oakwood or Cockfosters.

Bounds Green station is shown in this map.

Again the tracks appear to have been curved to allow generous space.

The two escalators and a set of stairs face North.

Arnos Grove station is a station with sidings and four platforms on the surface.

The car parks are likely to be developed for housing, so there will be major changes at the station.

Southgate station is the last station, that doesn’t have step-free access.

But again there is some space between the tracks.

The two escalators and a set of stairs face North.

So did the designers of the Northern Extension of the Piccadilly Line leave space to put in more equipment or even lifts?

After all they didn’t stint themselves on the design of the stations.

Designing Step-Free Access

This is not easy and various considerations must be taken into account.

Revenue Protection

At Cockfosters station, the new lift goes between two areas that are outside the ticket barriers.

If as I have proposed at Manor House station, where there would be lifts between the surface and the subway level, both areas are outside the ticket barriers.

At Tottenham Hale station, there several lifts all of which are inside the ticket barrier.

Staff At The Barrier

Nearly all ticket barriers in London are watched by staff to sort out problems like passengers, who don’t know how to use the system.

Costs

It is unlikely, that large sums of money will be available to add step-free access to all stations on the Underground.

I also think, that step-free access at stations will be funded by developments close to stations.

A London-Wide Solution

It is for these and other reasons, that I think London needs to look in detail at all stations and see if a series of solutions can be developed for all stations.

In this section of the Piccadilly Line, there are five stations with three escalators or two escalators and a staircase.

But there are others on the other deep tube lines.

So should a standard solution be developed for all stations like this? And for all groups of similar stations.

Could An Inclined Lift Be Used At This Group Of Stations?

This picture shows the first inclined lift, I ever saw, which was on the Stockholm Metro.

Looking at the picture shows it was installed on a very long set of escalators.

At present, there is only one inclined lift on the London Underground and that one is at Greenford station.

It is a very neat and compact installation, that incorporates a double-staircase, an up escalator and an inclined lift in a confined space.

I think we’ll see similar solutions to Greenford employed in some stations on the Underground. In Is This A Simple And Affordable Solution To Providing Step-Free Access At Essex Road Station?, I outline how an inclined lift could be used at Essex Road station.

These pictures show the three escalators at Manor House station.

Note.

  1. The middle escalator was switched off.
  2. There is a spacious lobby at the bottom of the escalators.

The other four below-ground stations North of Finsbury Park; Turnpike Lane, Wood Green, Bounds Green and Southgate all have two escalators and a central staircase

These pictures show Bounds Green station.

Note that the stairs are in the middle.

It looks to me, that all five escalator systems to the North of Finsbury Park are more or less identical.

  • Only Manor House has a third escalator.
  • There is a large lobby at the bottom.
  • All stairs are in the middle escalator slot.
  • Are the stairs designed to be replaced with a third escalator?

So would it be possible to design an inclined escalator solution for all stations, that fitted all of the stations?

I think it might be very much a possibility.

  • The central staircase would be replaced by a third escalator.
  • One of the outside escalators would be replaced with an inclined lift.

Note

  1. Many of these escalators were probably  installed in the early 1990s, a few years after the Kings Cross Fire.
  2. Escalators are replaced regularly every ten or twenty years.

So could the installation of the inclined lifts, be worked into the schedule of escalator maintenance and replacement?

I believe with good project management it could be arranged.

  • At no time during the works would any station have less than two escalators.
  • If there were to be an escalator failure, all of the stations are connected by frequent buses and some are even within walking distance.

The works could also be arranged to fit in with available cash-flow.

I believe that eventually all these stations will need to be provided with full step-free access.

Conclusion

I believe that a sensible program of works can be developed to make all deep-level stations North of Finsbury Park step-free on the Piccadilly Line.

  • The deep-level platforms would be served by two escalators and an inclined lift.
  • The works would be performed alongside the regular maintenance and replacement of the current escalators.
  • There would be no substantial tunneling.
  • The works could also be arranged to fit in with available cash-flow.

The technique would be applicable to other stations on the Underground network.

Turnpike Lane Station

In Is Turnpike Lane Tube Station Going Step-Free?, I tried to explain the puzzling works going on at Turnpike Lane station.

Could those works be digging a lift-shaft or something in a more engineering line, like installing more ventilation or new power cables?

There’s certainly no clues on the Internet.

This table shows step-free status and 2019 passenger numbers at the Piccadilly Line stations to the North of Kings Cross St. Pancras station.

  • Cockfosters – Step-Free – 1.86 million
  • Oakwood – Step-free – 2.78 million
  • Southgate – 5.43 million
  • Arnos Grove – 4.44 million
  • Bounds Green – 5.99 million
  • Wood Green – 12.13 million
  • Turnpike Lane – 10.6 million
  • Manor House – 8.55 million
  • Finsbury Park – Step-free – 33.40 million
  • Arsenal – 2.77 million
  • Holloway Road – 6.69 million
  • Caledonian Road – Step-free – 5.60 million
  • Kings Cross St. Pancras – Step-free – 88.27 million

Note.

  1. The high passenger numbers at Finsbury Park and Kings Cross St. Pancras, where there is interchange with lots of other services.
  2. The long gap of step-free access between Oakwood and Finsbury Park.
  3. Arnos Grove could be an easier station to make step-free.

I just wonder, if a lift at Turnpike Lane station could be the interim solution, until inclined lifts are installed in the distant future.

 

 

June 16, 2021 Posted by | Design, Sport, Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Starter Homes At Cockfosters

This would seem to be the final failure of a 1960s office development at Cockfosters.

It must have been about 1962, when I remember my mother telling me about the topping-out ceremony of these blocks by Cockfosters station.

They probably will satisfy a need, but it wouldn’t be my place to choose to live.

  • You may have the Piccadilly Line to Central London, but it is a long way. It takes 43 minutes to Leicester Square.
  • Cockfosters shopping centre hasn’t improved much since the 1960s.
  • I doubt that the development will have lots of parking.

But then on top of the hill with all the wind blowing from the East in the winter, it will be a bitterly cold place to live!

There are perhaps two good points.

  • The development is close to Trent Park for walking.
  • The buildings do seem to be structurally fairly sound.

But they’ll need to be, with all that cold wind!

May 30, 2021 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Tasteful Lift Installation In A Listed Tube Station

These pictures show Cockfosters station a couple of years ago and recently.

Note.

  1. There are two similar entrances on either side of the busy Cockfosters Road.
  2. Both have wide staircases down to the platform level.
  3. There is a subway between the two entrances.
  4. There is also a level light-controlled crossing across Cockfosters Road for those who need to cross the road.
  5. The station was designed by Charles Holden.
  6. The station opened in 1933.

The station is a Grade II Listed Building, which could have made designing a lift system tricky.

This Google Map shows the station layout.

Note.

  1. Cockfosters Road at the West of the map.
  2. The white roofs of the buses, indicate, that there is a small bus station at the Western entrance to the station.
  3. The London Transport roundel indicates the Eastern entrance to the station.
  4. There are two trains in the four platforms of the station.
  5. There is a large level car park.
  6. Transport for London have a small office block in the car park.
  7. The London Orbital Path and a hidden path to Trent Park can be accessed from the entrance to the station car park.

It is a well-equipped terminal station.

Transport for London could have opted for a double lift installation with one lift on either side of the road.

But they have opted for a single lift  at the Eastern side of the station.

I took these pictures of the new lift.

Note.

  1. The first picture shows the lift in the corner of the station ticket hall and lobby.
  2. From the lift to the trains is a level walk or push.
  3. The second picture shows the surface installation in the car park.
  4. The lift is positioned by the two walking routes and conveniently for anybody being dropped off or picked up by car.
  5. The light-controlled crossing is perhaps fifty metres away to give access to both sides of Cockfosters Road.
  6. The third picture shows a close-up of the lift.
  7. The fourth picture shows a seat, for those who need to wait.

It is a very simple and well-thought out installation.

 

 

 

 

April 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , | 4 Comments

Cockfosters Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Cockfosters station.

As a child, I used to go to the barbers in Cockfosters station to get my hair cut. I suppose, I went by myself from the time I joined Minchenden Grammar School at eleven. But I could have gone earlier, as it wasn’t that far from where we lived.

The barbers is not there anymore!

The station hasn’t changed much underground, although there’s now a cafe and there are barriers to check the tickets.

As to step-free access, there will need to be a lift on both sides of Cockfosters Road, as stairs are impossible, exzcept for the fully able-bodied.

There will certainly be more difficult stations to make step-free.

Once passengers are down in the station, it is a completely level walk, push or drag to the trains.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

But Cockfosters station may attract a large number of visitors with bikes, buggies and wheelchairs.

  • The station is on the London Outer Orbital Path.
  • Trent Park is nearby.
  • Cockfosters is at the end of the Piccadilly Line. So is it a stations, where passengers are dropped for Central London, Kings Cross and Heathrow?

Christ Church, Cockfosters is nearby, where C and myself got married. Possibly more importantly,the UK Memorial Service for Elivis Presley was held in the church, as this page recalls.

One thing that appears to be better at Cockfosters station from my childhood are the buses.

  • There are more bus routes calling at the station.
  • All the buses now have wheelchair spaces and access ramps.
  • Bus information is better.

So will we see the bus routes from Cockfosters station further developed to serve new housing developments?

 

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 9 Comments