The Anonymous Widower

The Five Minute Walk Between Oxford Circus Station And The Hanover Square Entrance To Bond Street Station For The Lizzie Line

With Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line opening tomorrow, I thought I’d take a reconnaissance today and find out how long it takes to walk.

I took these pictures as I walked.

Note.

  1. I started from the South-East entrance to Oxford Circus station.
  2. I walked a few yards down Regent Street and took the first right into Princes Street.
  3. Princes Street has a few cafes and restaurants, a toilet and a Timpsons.
  4. I then walked straight across the Northern side of Hanover Square to the station entrance.
  5. I passed Harewood Place on my right, which leads directly to the London’s largest John Lewis.

If the station had been open, the walk would have taken five minutes.

Hanover Square

Hanover Square now is a London Square with its own station entrance. I suppose that Sloane Square is the only other one, but that doesn’t have the formal garden that Hanover Square does.

The Medici Courtyard

Hidden behind the station building is the Medici Courtyard, which has been created by the developers of the station entrance.

These pictures show the courtyard.

Note.

  1. The Medici Courtyard leads between Hanover Square and Bond Street.
  2. It joins Bond Street, just to the North of Fenwicks.
  3. It contains a high-class hotel, an upmarket coffee shop and some shops.
  4. There is a courtyard, where you can sit and enjoy a drink.
  5. There were a lot of flowers.

It is a very unique station feature, that has been designed to attract visitors and shoppers to the area.

Would A Tunnel Between Oxford Circus Station And The Hanover Square Entrance To Bond Street Station Be Possible?

Consider.

  • At some point Oxford Circus station will be remodelled to provide extra capacity and full step-free access.
  • In a few years time, there will be reliable statistics on how many passengers will change between Oxford Circus Station and The Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street Station.
  • There will be more pedestrianisation in the area.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised to find out, that the The Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street Station has provision for a possible tunnel.

I suspect various proposals will be put forward for improving the connection, if it is needed. Some will include tunnels.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Knightsbridge Station – 21st October 2022

I last visited Knightsbridge station in April, this year, when I wrote Knightsbridge Station – 25th April 2022.

Construction has moved on in the six months since I visited, as these pictures show.

Note.

  1. After arrival at the station, I left using the exit at Harrods and then walked back along Brompton Road to Harvey Nicholls.
  2. The entrance for the lift is in an alley. According to this article on Ian Visits, two lifts are needed to get to the platforms.
  3. The ticket hall is under the Burberry store and has three entrances with steps.
  4. One unusual feature of the ticket hall, is that it has a micro-Starbucks. Is this idea going to be repeated?

In Ian’s article, he describes the step-free entrance like this.

By reusing some old tunnels, and a side alley around the corner, they will be making the station step-free for the first time. The station used to have lifts from the street down to a corridor that then linked to the platforms via a short set of stairs, but was taken out of use in the 1930s when escalators were added.

What’s being done is that a new entrance, with ticket barriers, has been created in Hooper’s Court, and there will be two lifts that will take people down to just above platform level where the old corridors are still available. There will then be a second small lift to link the corridor down to the platform level.

It looks like it was rather a tight squeeze to get everything in. But then in Knightsbridge, the space for a single toilet will cost at least a couple of millions.

 

October 21, 2022 Posted by | Food, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improving The Wood Green And Moorgate Public Transport Corridor

This morning I went for coffee with an old school friend from Minchenden Grammar School at Southgate station.

Southgate is not a bad place to meet someone.

  • There are a couple of good coffee shops.
  • There are plenty of buses.
  • It has a couple of the better chain restaurants including a Pizza Express.
  • The area also has a lot of memories for me.

It also has one of London’s most iconic Underground stations.

It may look familiar, as it regularly crops up in film and television dramas.

  • One station guy told me, that the ticket barriers have been designed to be easy to remove, so filming of an historic drama is possible.
  • It was used in The End Of The Affair to portray a Central London station.
  • As the escalators have the same bronze fittings as Moscow, they could be used in a story set in Russia.

As the Piccadilly Line doesn’t go anywhere near my house, to get to Southgate, I take a 141 bus to and from a convenient Piccadilly Line station.

  • Going North, I changed at Manor House station.
  • Coming South, I changed at Turnpike Lane station.
  • I could have also have changed at Wood Green station.

The journey home had four major problems.

  • The bus stop at Turnpike Lane station, is a few hundred yards from the station.
  • I waited fifteen minutes for a 141 bus.
  • When it did arrive, it was so packed, it didn’t have space for a miniature dachshund to squeeze in between the feet of the standing passengers.
  • The traffic was very heavy, so the journey was slow.

How can this bus route cope in the Peak, if it can’t cope on a Sunday morning?

Various issues and actions and will make these capacity issues worse.

The Victoria Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

In my view, this was a mistake, although not that serious, as the young or energetic can probably walk between Oxford Circus and the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line.

Will this connection develop with coffee and snack shops to ease passenger interchanges?

When and if Oxford Circus station is ever made step-free, I can imagine a tunnel, perhaps with a moving walkway being built between  Oxford Circus station and he Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

There is also the cross-platform interchange at Highbury & Islington station with the Northern City Line that links with Moorgate and the City of London.

The Piccadilly Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

To get between the Northern stations on the Piccadilly Line and the Elizabeth Line is either a double-change at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations or a ride on the 141 bus.

I wrote about these issues in Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line.

The Elizabeth Line Will Attract Travellers To Moorgate

I notice that my own travelling patterns have changed from using the Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines to using the Elizabeth Line since it opened and I suspect, when the Elizabeth Line is fully joined up, that more passengers will travel to Moorgate to access the Elizabeth Line.

Transport for London and the Mayor Are Rerouting The 21 Bus

The 21 bus duplicates the 141 bus between Newington Green and Moorgate station.

But it is being rerouted next year, which will increase the loading on the 141 bus.

The 141 Bus Used To Be The 641 Trolleybus

When I was a child, London’s trolleybus network was extensive and to get between Wood Green and Moorgate, you would have used the 641 trolleybus.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Many like me, look back on trolleybuses with affection.

Does this historical connection encourage passengers to use the 141 bus, which is the 641 trolleybus’s successor on the route?

My parents certainly had lots of trolleybus stories.

So What Could Be Done?

There are a variety of actions that could be taken to strengthen public transport between Moorgate and Wood Green stations.

Improve The 141 Bus Route

In Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, I put forward ideas for using buses to link to the Elizabeth Line.

This was my suggestion.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

I feel that a high-quality 141 bus running every ten minutes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green, would be just what the passengers would order.

  • Palmers Green bus garage is at the Northern end of the route, so could be used for refuelling or recharging.
  • London Bridge station is at the Southern end of the route and was designed with an efficient bus station.
  • The 141 route connects London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street stations in the City of London.

With the right buses, this could be a route with real quality and usefulness.

Increase The Frequency On The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line may have new Class 717 trains, but it still has a pathetic frequency of eight trains per hour (tph)

  • I am sure it could be increased to at least 12 tph between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace stations.
  • Something like six tph would go to Welwyn Garden City, four tph to Hertford East station and two to Stevenage.
  • Large areas of the Northern suburbs would get a much better connection to the Elizabeth Line.

Once the digital signalling is installed and commissioned, no new infrastructure will be needed.

I am sure, that this would be the easiest way to improve public transport in North London.

Add Step-Free Access To As Many Stations As Possible

Moorgate, Finsbury Park, Oakwood and Cockfosters are step-free with lifts.

As many stations as budgetary constraints allow, should be made step-free.

October 9, 2022 Posted by | Food, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Battersea Power Station Station To Battersea Power Station Pier – 18th September 2022

I walked between Battersea Power Station station and Battersea Power Station pier.

Note.

  1. A new route between the station and the pier has been opened up, which is shorter.
  2. The development opens on the fourteenth of next month, but there is already some good restaurants and coffee shops.
  3. The corgi was the first one I’d met for a few years.

I walked between the station and the pier in under ten minutes.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shell’s New Filling Station For Electric Cars

I took these pictures of Shell’s new filling station for electric cars in Fulham, yesterday.

It’s got eleven chargers, a Little Waitrose and a Costa Coffee. What more couple Fulham want?

I’m surprised the Council allowed a Costa!

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Coulsdon South Station Has Gone Step-Free

Coulsdon South station went step-free a couple of months ago, so I went to take a look.

These are my thoughts.

The Bridge

Mechanically, the bridge is typical of many in the UK, but someone has taken care over the design, by the use of well-chosen colours and bricks.

The Café

We need more station cafes like Jaconelli’s Espresso Bar.

  • Full range of proper coffee and other drinks.
  • Cakes and snacks.
  • Gluten-free options.
  • Wude selection of alternative milks
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff.

I suspect it is also owner-managed, as most cafes of this type would be in Italy.

It’s one of the best cafes of its type, that I’ve found in a long time.

The Old Bridge

According to one of the guys in the café the old bridge needed replacing.

But leaving it intact, gives the young, fit or agile a second route across the tracks.

Local Walks And Attractions

There are walks nearby in the Surrey Hills and on the London Loop.

I was also told, that you can get a bus to the Lavender Fields.

Zone Six Station On Thameslink

The station is in Zone Six, which puts it in Freedom Pass territory.

It also has two Thameslink and two Southern trains per hour, so it is easily reached.

Car Parking And A Taxi Service

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the car parking and a taxi service, which is called District Cars.

Conclusion

Coulsdon South is now a very well-equipped station and it must be an ideal place to meet a friend, family member or work colleague to either have a chat or a serious discussion.

Surely, with more people continuing to work from home, the need for meetings between those in the office and those at home will grow! Zoom etc. can only do so much and the cpncept doesn’t suit everybody!

So perhaps we’ll see more community-managed meeting rooms, like the one I described in The Newly-Decorated White Horse Room In Westbury Is Open For Bookings.

 

August 14, 2020 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nespresso

Just heard the CEO of Nrdpresso defending his product, where seventy-two percent of the product goes into landfill.

Ridiculous!

My tea-bag goes straight into the food composting bin!

So much more environmentally-friendly!

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | 3 Comments

A Plaintiff Plea On Wake Up To Money

I regularly listen to Wake Up to Money on BBC Radio 5 Live.

One morning, they were talking to Kentucky Fried Chicken about their new vegan burgers. As a coeliac, I say Yuck! to that!

Somebody else texted the program and said something like.

I’m a coeliac, how about more gluten-free food.

In fact it was a bad week for me as a coeliac last week.

  • I found Beyond Bread had closed on Upper Street.
  • Le Petite Bretagne  closed in Dalston.
  • I spent about twenty minutes looking for a coffee and a gluten-free cake in Liverpool Street.

All this passion for vegan and vegetarian food, is marginalising those like me, who have to avoid gluten.

I’ve still got a couple of cafes in Dalston, where this is possible and I could always go to M & S and take a cake home.

But I refuse to buy an expensive coffee maker.

After Liverpool Street, I ended up in Leon in Moorgate.

Note the excellent gluten-free cake and the posh cup and saucer.

Note, that because of my stroke, I like a proper china cup or mug

I tend to avoid American-owned chains like Costa and Starbucks, as some American gluten-free practices are suspect to say the least. I used to like Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate, but now I believe it uses addictive wheat-derived glucose, I wouldn’t dare touch it.

As I said finding good cafes and restaurants that do gluten free well is becoming more difficult.

  • Carluccio’s is creaking and many that I used regularly like Glasgow, Islington, Liverpool and Westfield have closed.
  • Pattiserie Valerie is struggling and has closed a lot of outlets.
  • Jamie’s Italian has gone bust.
  • If I go a bit upmarket, there is Bill’s and Cote, but they are not ideal for a fast pit-stop.

As last week, I suspect that most coeliacs hope that Leon or others following their relaxed, quirky and customer and diet-friendly model, prosper.

Freedoming

These days many pensioners like me, get free public transport in their local area.

Londoners like me, get a Freedom Pass, which gives free buses, Underground, Overground, trams and trains, within the M25.

I will often get up, look at the BBC London News, the weather and other sources. I may then decide to go to Canary Wharf, Richmond ir wherever  to have a walk, see an exhibition or whatever.

London is an amazing cornucopia of delights, which is a sentiment echoed by others who live close to our other great cities.

Free public transport enables this lifestyle.

I think the various cafe and restaurant chains can tap into this lifestyle, as often one of the reason to go to a place is to have a good meal or a drinki.

If like me, you like particular chains, I believe that their web sites could be an important part in planning how to waste a few hours.

Suppose, their web site  had the following features.

  • A simple list of all their cafes and restaurant, with st most a short description like “Close to Pierhead”
  • The ability to sign up to a simple e-mail alert of new openings and closures. Note the word simple!

I believe that if I got a message saying a chain had opened in say Kingston, it might prompt me to go and have a walk and perhaps lunch, with a friend I haven’t seen for years.

Note.

  1. Lists are much better than maps, if you don’t know the area.
  2. Companies are relying too much on apps, which are OK for finding places near where you are, but are useless, if you are using the cafe or restaurant, as the resewn to go or the starting point for an explore.
  3. I believe Carluccio’s troubles started, when they abandoned their list on their web site. I told them so in strong terms.

Patteriserie Valerie has an excellent list.

 

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leon Goes Posh!

I took this picture in the Leon Restaurant on Moorgate yesterday, where I often go for breakfast.

I’m not a lover of plastic cups and in that restaurant, I can have a big mug of tea with my gluten-free full English in a pot!

As you can see, those who don’t like plastic cups or mugs  sized for builders, can now have their beverage in a real cup and with a posh saucer.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Bean About Town

I liked this name when I saw it on a coffee stall outside Kentish Town station.

I also noted that the stall was selling the mandarin and chocolate chip gluten-free cake.

I’d have had some, but I had just had breakfast.

When I’m in the area I’ll check them out properly.

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment