The London Underground carries a whopping 1,229 million passengers each year, so it’s no wonder that people, especially Londoners, have a lot to say about it. We take a look at some of the juicy gossip below:
High praise for the Jubilee line
In November of this year (2013), the Jubilee line was affectionately named as the city’s favourite tube line, with 24% of Londoners casting their vote to soar it to the top spot. So what’s so special about it? With its futuristic stations and trains, the sleek carriages welcomed an upgrade in 2012 meaning the line not only runs faster, but the increased number of trains now means you’re waiting for just 2 minutes before the next one arrives- pretty slick! The line runs from Statford in the east to Stanmore in the north, and includes London’s busiest station Waterloo and other popular stops such as Westminster and London Bridge.
Steer clear of the Northern Line
In contrast to the Jubilee Line, the Northern line was voted the least favourite in the same survey. 20% of Londoners cast their vote to declare it the worst out of the 11 lines, but why? The line runs from High Barnet and Edware to Morden, serving 50 stations. This split line, means annoyingly that despite Old Street and Charring Cross both being on the same line for example, to get to one from the other is a bit of a nightmare! And it’s not just the split line that causes confusion, it’s the fact that because the line spreads over such a distance (36 miles to be precise), its packed with both commuters and tourists. So if you fancy being packed in like sardines in a tin, look no further! Oh and one more thing…its reliability, or lack of. Yes it’s becoming quite a regular sight to see the signs ‘disruptions to the northern line’ or ‘partial closure on the northern line’, so if you do need to take this treacherous journey- please plan ahead!
Stations to Avoid
It’s always worth avoiding some of the busier stations as best you can because being stuffed onto carriages is never pleasant, let alone sometimes not even being able to fit on one it’s so busy! Waterloo is the busiest station, with 57,000 people passing through during the three hour peak morning period, and a total of 82 million passengers using the station each year. If you’ve got the time, take the tube to Embankment or Lambeth North and walk to waterloo from there. Another schoolboy error is taking the tube between central stations, when it’s often quicker to walk. Don’t bother with the hassle tubing between Covent Garden and Leicester Square or Oxford Circus and Bond Street. These four stations are prime tourist hot spots, so beat the crowds and navigate your way on foot.
It might sound strange, but some of the London Underground stations really are quite beautiful. Canary Wharf and Southwark are both futuristically modern with stunning glass panels, whilst Art Deco enthusiasts should head to St James’s Park and East Finchley. Gants Hill is another interesting station; inspired by the Moscow metro it’s been designed with Soviet-era architecture.
Dating back to the late 19th century, it comes as no surprise that some of the stations on the London Underground are said to be haunted. If you ever hear wails and cries echoing through Farringdon station, it just might be the screaming spectre, otherwise known as Anne Naylor, a 13 year old trainee hat maker who was murdered in 1758 and at Elephant and Castle the sound of the invisible runners footsteps have been heard for years. Meanwhile in Covent Garden, the murdered actor William Terriss has been sighted pacing the tunnels since the 1950’s. It’s said he used to frequent a bakery that once stood where the tube station is now built.
Got some secrets about the London Underground to share? Have your say in our comments below!