Original vs proposed layout
Original vs proposed layout
Original vs proposed layout

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is the most heavily used of London's deep-tube Underground stations which are served only by lifts. Over the last 30 years, passenger demand has increased so dramatically that on Saturdays, between the hours of 13.00 and 17.00, the station has had to be closed to passengers trying to enter from the street. The main problem at street level is the limited space available for passengers leaving the station, which makes it difficult for the lifts and exit gateline to cope with the heavy demand. This can lead to lift delays and therefore reduced station capacity. London Underground was considering opening up the James Street frontage of the building and repositioning the gateline as far away from the lifts as possible within the constraints of the existing building envelope. This would allow the gates to be in the direct line of sight of the lift doors. The new gateline would consist of 11 exit gates: an increase of five. The proposed changes were simulated and it was found that they would be considerably effective. Extensive filming validated the base case simulation outputs. Simulations showed that the changes would significantly reduce congestion in the area between the lifts and exit gates. Waiting times for lifts at both street and lower levels would also be shorter, because lifts would cycle up and down more quickly in the new scheme. The fact that the Legion analyses were able to calculate the ‘social cost’ values for each scenario meant that the outputs were particularly geared towards calculating material benefits.