Covent Garden tube station – where London’s most expensive tube trip begins (or ends.)
This is the second part of my investigation into the Leicester Square/Covent Garden conundrum. The first part is here.
We look at the overground route using photos to ascertain if the stations can be seen from each other. Popular opinion says they can only be seen from a half-way point. Let’s look again at those claims. Here’s Wikipedia:
“The stations are so close that a pedestrian standing halfway between them on Long Acre can see both tube stations by turning around 180°”
We’re gonna demolish that popular claim….
Covent Garden tube station (at left) from Leicester Square seen with a long zoom. Picture taken May 2016 even with full foilage in trees. ‘UndergrounD’ and ‘Covent’ can be seen.
Leicester Square tube’s sign (exact centre) from Covent Garden station with zoom. May 2016.
Okay now let’s do it without a zoom lens. The following pics are with a fixed 24mm lens (equal to 38.4mm full frame) and quite near what’s said to be the normal human eye perception. These were taken one night in August 2016. Night time being because the roundels are lit and therefore easier to spot:
Leicester Square tube from by Covent Garden’s sign. Leicester Square’s sign is marked by a red circle.
Crop from the above image. Leicester Square sign visible in exact centre.
This time we’re right outside the station entrance. Leicester Square sign is quite easily seen (and is circled red.)
Crop of above image. Leicester Square’s classic red & white roundel colours easily visible.
Clearly the claim the stations are seen only from a mid way point in Long Acre is just total bullshit!
Talking of the mid-way point, that’s where one would be standing at the very end of Leicester Square’s platforms. Let’s see how those distances fare….
The exact point where Leicester Square’s platforms end. Practically mid way to Covent Garden 🙂
Covent Garden station from that same exact point, on the south side of Long Acre where Leicester Square’s platform ends (using a minor zoom lens.)
The view from that same exact point, this time on the north side of Long Acre (slight zoom.)
Bloody damn short distance isnt it!
During my numerous investigations up and down Long Acre (between May 2016 and January 2017) I found that in other variable situations one could be near Leicester Square station – in fact right above its platforms – and not know it was there but easily see Covent Garden tube station down the road and so walk there and take the tube, only to practically return to where they were before!
These situations included crowds of people blocking the sight-lines, temporary signs, and high sided vehicles parked in Long Acre. In fact the presence of just one high sided delivery van could turn the tables and potentially prompt someone to get the tube instead.
Standing at the mid way point in Long Acre right above the Leicester Square platforms one can see the station itself easily.
Yet from the same position on the opposite side of Long Acre the tube station cant be seen! This is due to trees, lampposts, traffic lights, awnings etc.
If one turns round Covent Garden will be seen. Okay, the idea then is to walk there, take the tube and practically return to one’s starting point (below ground.) Brilliant isn’t it? 🙂
Clearly much faffing about just to get nowhere 🙂
One answer is to provide more signage in Long Acre, not just those sited right outside the stations.
Here’s a few recent tweets on the delicate matter of London’s shortest, and most expensive, tube hop:
People that get on at Leicester Square and get off at Covent Garden.. why??— BΛRNES 🇺🇦 (@Alex_Fredrick) November 15, 2016
NEVER walk up the steps at Covent Garden, get off at Leicester Square instead. https://t.co/o4IQw8W9cD— Paul (@rockthecasbah77) January 4, 2017
‘I love that the Tube takes 20 seconds from Leicester Square station to Covent Garden and it costs £4.90 lol.’ Source: Twitter
‘The shortest tube journey is 260 metres between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line…’ Source: Twitter.