Which Is London’s Worst Tube Station?

First in a two-parter, looking at the capital’s best and worst underground stations.

Our sprawling underground system has much to commend it, but we all get irked by some of the shittier corners. So, we asked the simple question: ‘which is the crappiest Tube station’ on our Facebook wall. 419 votes later (via comments or ‘likes’ for comments), we have a definitive answer. Well, as definitive as any cobbled together, non-scientific, impromptu Facebook poll can ever be.

Here’s the top ten crummiest stops on the network

Station Votes
Bank 143
Elephant & Castle 61
Covent Garden 33
Green Park 27
Finsbury Park 24
Camden Town 21
Tottenham Court Road 18
Russell Square 10
Mile End 10
Holborn 9

One station stands turd-buckets higher than the others. Bank (and its enleeched sibling Monument) got more than twice as many votes as any other stop. That said, second-placed Elephant and Castle is presumably less familiar to many, and would probably come out higher than Bank if the number of passengers per year was taken into account.

Reasons for station hatred were varied. Overcrowding was the top nuisance, particularly at Bank. Reliance on lifts accounts for most of the Covent Garden and Russell Square votes. The epic Jubilee interchange explains the high showing of Green Park. One person disliked Tottenham Court Road for the number of werewolves. Another person opted for Moor Park — seemingly one of the most civilised, affluent stations on the network…until you read it backwards.

70 stations were nominated, with a long tail of stops picking up just a handful of enemies. Of the mainline termini stations, Euston, Paddington and Liverpool Street all lacked a single vote, and Victoria only got three. Surprisingly, Stratford only received a single vote.

If all this negativity gets you down, look out for our second part tomorrow, revealing the best Tube stations in London. You can still vote up until 3pm on 19 January via our Facebook page.

Image by Owen Blacker in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • http://twitter.com/ms_springsteen Catherine

    Russell Square deserves to be way higher. And more people would’ve voted Victoria if the escalators were still under refurb.

  • http://twitter.com/EastVillageLDN East Village London

    I really like this article…

    The chaos of writhing bodies come 5pm at Oxford Circus is surely reason to place it amongst London’s crummy elite? 
    On the other hand, I can understand quite clearly how Stratford has come up trumps in your poll – newly state of the art, spacious and well designed: there’s very little to moan about!

    • Anonymous

      Oxford Circus got 8 votes, putting it just out of the list. Stratford can be a complete nightmare, as the picture above shows.

  • Char

    Russell Sq – Pros: beautiful tiles Cons: Tourists in lifts 

  • http://twitter.com/sparticus Mark Walley

    Euston didn’t receive a single vote? Have you ever tried to enter it on a Saturday morning? Because the layout is so terrible, everyone queues up for the pitiful number of ticket machines and blocks the entrance to the barriers. Even if you don’t need to top up your Oyster Card you still have to work your way through dozens of people before you can get to the barriers. That and people get confused as to why Euston Square isn’t linked, and that it only has two exits, one to a busy concourse and one to the Watford train tracks. A terrible station.

    • Anonymous

      Plus, the many different Northern Line platforms are always confusing, even for a regular like me.

  • The Dark Lord Squibble

    Kings Cross surely – you have to walk halfway across London to change platforms!

    • Anonymous

      It’ll get even more lengthy when the new entrance opens on Kings Boulevard, north of the German Gymnasium. Amazingly, King’s Cross only got 3 votes.

      • Ado

        If you’re changing from Victoria to Picadilly at Kings Cross, don’t follow the signs – head for the Metropolitan, Circle etc and take the little short cut before the escalators – the new route they’ve opened is someone’s idea of a laugh

        • http://twitter.com/opportunemoment Rosie Best

          Same from the Victoria to the Northern. The new Northern Line entrance, where most the signs now point, is actually underneath St Pancras. It’s in a whole different station! You might as well change at Bank… 

  • Gareth Talbot

    Moor Park backwards….classic.
    Not as good as Finsbury Park backwards.


  • http://twitter.com/antiquote Kieren Messenger

    Surprised about Elephant & Castle. Sure it’s a crap station, but not ‘I dread going there’ crap. Embankment would get my vote. Horrid mess of walkways, stairs, escalators and bridges with seemingly the whole of London wanting to change there.

    • http://twitter.com/LAU4A Laura W

      I’ve actually changed my commute to avoid Elephant and Castle so that I don’t have to take the (never arriving) lift up to the ground floor, navigate the teenagers, walk through the shopping centre and then get onto the train there… Ironically enough, avoiding E&C means changing at Embankment every day.  Not loads of fun, but better than Hell-iphant and Castle.

  • Oval :)

    I like Oval best. It has classical music, quotes of the day and when the announcer says ‘the next station is oval’ it makes me smile because I pretend he’s talking about the shape of the station. This does make me a pathetic human being, but you’ve got to get your small pleasures wherever you can on the tube.

  • http://twitter.com/Londiniensis Londiniensis

    The way of obviating the tedious interchanges at Green Park is simple – follow “way out” signs, go up the escalator to station level, then down the escalator for the line you want. Simples!

    • http://twitter.com/sparticus Mark Walley

      Tis true! A good shortcut.

    • Anonymous

      Tis very true –  one of London’s best kept secrets until now

    • amy

      agreed! i came to comment exactly this. especially helpful when on the way to heathrow with heavy bags!

    • GavinF

      Thanks for the tip. On two separate occasions I’ve got lost trying to get from the Victoria to the Jubilee and usually ended up walking for about five minutes behind people walking slowly with their luggage.

  • D_heaney

    Maybe, but my thoughts of Bank being unpleasant are tempered by knowledge and experiecne of what it was like 20 years ago, when it was exceptionally dirty, damp in places, covered in graffiti, and  just generally utterly shambolic. Today it is only overcrowded, but none of the other things. A vast improvement in fact. (E&C is better than it used to be too, but is still quite grim)

  • Troy Munns

    I don’t get why E&C is rated so badly. Apart from the lifts, there is nothing wrong it/them!

    • http://twitter.com/antiquote Kieren Messenger

      Perhaps people are thinking of the Northern line entrance to E&C. The Bakerloo one has more lifts and fewer steps.

  • http://twitter.com/yk4ever Konstantin Yegupov

    Why not Victoria? It’s still pretty crazy. And, from what I’ve seen, the most accident-prone. As of ugliest one, I’m torn between East Putney and Whitechapel.

  • Hoover

    Russell Square is cool. I like climbing all the steps two at a time instead of taking the lift, then getting trembly legs while walking across the square.

    • Kyle

      This was me this morning.

  • rufeus

    I wouldn’t say its the worst but the layout of Mile End’s barriers is awful. With such a narrow hallway there’s congestion even when its not that busy.

  • Adam

    Holborn in rush hour is a nightmare – they need to seriously widen the gangways and the platform!

  • Raab

    I like any station that has an interchange with the District Line because when the announcer says “Change for the District Line” I’m reminded of the beginning of Peter and The Wolf.

  • Gilda

    Weirdly no-one mentioned the interchange at Edgware Road. Also, is it me or do other people also always take the wrong train at Aldgate East?

    • Sam

      I admit to almost having done that in the past.

  • Apieroux

    It would be interesting to see the votes divided by the average footfall at each station. Can anyone help?

  • Julillo23

    Richmond should be in this list. Rush hours and some of the staff are awful

  • Sam

    Glad to see Bank up there! The changes are a mile and a half long and if you are not in a sober state you might just about end up walking endlessly and exiting at Monument near midnight.
    Anyhow, Kings Cross is equally bad if you plan to change between Victoria/Northern/Piccadilly. Mates of mine from out of town managed to get lost, walk a never ending tunnel and finally took the nearest exit and then get back in again to board the correct tube.

  • parmand

    We have not mentioned Whitechapel to small resembling a rural station.However with Crossrail re constructing the station it will be able to cope and be a supurb structure like the transformation of Farringdon now taking place.

  • Ash-brown

    I agree that Edgware Road should be on the list – hoardes of tourists going up and down the stairs trying to work out which platform to get their beloved Circle line from and half hour waits in the freezing cold for an eastbound Hammersmith & City line train (since the uncoupling of the Circle).

  • Pibiscus

    This is a heroic thread.  My vote goes to Finchley Road.  The cavalry charge of sweaty Metrolanders and Chilternians spilling off Met trains and charging on to just-about-to-depart Jubilee trains has to be seen to be believed.  Be in the way at your peril!  The cunning of the controllers as they make sure each train closes just after the one on the opposite platform has arrived, so the advance guard gets squashed against the closed doors and dragged off into the murk.  The wending and weaving between passengers who refuse to move off their chosen spot on the platform, as though they had a god-given occupation right.  And so many trains on the Jubilee line these days!  Three or four might come and go before a single Met, no wonder there are so many suicides.  Catastrophic. 

  • Sianjones731

    Finsbury Park Tube is awful.  Dark, dingy, no escalators and stinks of piss

  • GavinF

    I’d put Highbury and Islington in there just for what it seems to be like in rush hour or on a Saturday afteroon. Taking the wrong corridor to exit from the Victoria when there’s a stampede of people coming the other way from the Overground is not a good idea, as I found out. Also getting on or off the Overground is horrendous – so many people fighting to get on and however close I get off to the exit, I still end up behind all the slow people on the stairs. It’s the only station where I’ve seen an old lady (who was evidently scared of escalators) attempt to walk up the steps from the deep level lines, despite the fact that the down escalator was closed for repairs and there was an army of people coming down the (also very narrow) stairs.

    • GavinF

      Tottenham Court Road deserves to be there just for how horrible it is to get to the Northern Line at 6pm. So many people all going that way at the same time. I’ve found though that if you come from surface level, the stairs are a bit more bearable than the escalators.
      I’d put Liverpool Street there for two reasons: 1) I’ve sometimes been almost flattened by people who were racing off the escalators to get trains as I left the central line, and 2) Sometimes it takes about 10 minutes for any train to show up on the westbound circle line platforms, and usually the electronic signs that give the destination of the next train have no idea either.
      I tend to avoid those stations now, as well as the entire Central Line.