Covent Garden tube station
Location of Covent Garden in Central London
|Local authority||City of Westminster|
|Managed by||London Underground|
|Number of platforms||2|
|London Underground annual entry and exit|
|Original company||Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway|
|15 December 1906||Line opened|
|11 April 1907||Station opened|
|Added to list||20 July 2011|
Covent Garden is a London Underground station in Covent Garden. It is on the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Holborn. The station is a Grade II listed building, on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.
The station was opened by Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 11 April 1907, four months after services on the rest of the line began operating on 15 December 1906.
Like the rest of the original GNP&BR stations, the street level station building and platform tiling was designed by Leslie Green. The station building is a classic red 'Oxblood' building which has two elevations fronting onto the end of James Street and Long Acre. The platform wall was tiled with two shades of yellow and white tiling which formed geometric shapes along with three blank spaces to incorporate the station name. As part of TFL's investment programme, the ageing tiling dating back from the station's opening has been replaced in 2010 in a like-for-like basis, retaining the look and feel of the platforms.
Covent Garden station is one of the few stations in Central London for which platform access is only by lift or stairs and often becomes congested due to the Covent Garden area's popularity with tourists. To control congestion on Saturday afternoons, when the surrounding shopping areas are at their busiest, the station was previously exit only to avoid the risk of dangerous overcrowding of the platforms, but following replacement of the lifts, this restriction has been lifted. There are four lifts which give access to street level, although a final flight of stairs from the lifts to the platforms means that the station is wheelchair inaccessible. Alternatively, there is an emergency spiral staircase of 193 steps (The equivalent to a 15 storey building). During the lift journey a recorded announcement is played asking passengers to have their tickets/passes ready as they exit the lifts and advising where to turn for Covent Garden's market.
Transport for London has made a commitment to ease the congestion at the station, which may involve the creation of a new exit further north along Long Acre (i.e. away from Covent Garden Piazza and nearer the eclectic shopping area which surrounds Neal's Yard), and the provision of escalator access.
Proximity to Leicester Square
The journey between Leicester Square station and Covent Garden takes only about 20 seconds, and measures only 260 metres (0.161 miles), the shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the Underground network. The stations are so close that a pedestrian standing halfway between them on Long Acre can see both tube stations by turning around 180°. The proximity means that London Underground's standard £4.30 single cash fare for the journey between these two stations equates to £26.71 a mile, making the fare for this particular journey more expensive per mile than the Venice Simplon Orient Express. Posters at the station give details of the alternative methods of getting to and from Covent Garden using surrounding stations.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2008". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2009". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Customer metrics: entries and exits: 2010". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "The National Heritage List for England". English Heritage. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "16 London Underground Stations Listed at Grade II". English Heritage. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- Key facts | Transport for London
- Orient Express: London-Paris-Venice aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train
- Timeout London article, "City of the Dead", by Peter Watts, dated 25 October 2005
- London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|