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London stations to avoid: what TfL is really saying

A LIST of the 20 busiest stations on London Underground and suburban National Rail lines has been published by Transport for London, but some media sources seem to have misunderstood the details.

Many reports are claiming that TfL simply wants passengers to avoid the stations on its ‘busy list’ between 05.45 and 08.15 and again between 16.00 and 17.30.

However, TfL is not especially discouraging travel to any of the listed stations, but is asking passengers not to enter most of them, or try to change trains there.

In a few cases only changing trains is being discouraged, in a bid to maintain social distancing.

Most of the listed stations are on the Underground, such as East Ham, Liverpool Street, Seven Sisters and Walthamstow Central, but Overground stations at Clapham Junction and West Croydon, and DLR stations at Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal, are also named. In addition, the list includes National Rail stations at Clapham Junction and East Croydon.

Some of the busiest Underground stations in normal times are not on TfL’s list, such as King’s Cross St Pancras, Oxford Circus or Victoria, although the headline message to all passengers using any station is still ‘only travel if your journey is essential’.

TfL has also emphasised its advice about using alternative methods to get around: ‘Where possible, please also consider cycling or walking, including parts of your journey. Please consider getting off a stop or two early to reduce the numbers of people travelling on Tubes and buses. If you arrive in central London at a mainline station, please try to avoid interchanging to Tubes and buses where you can and walk or cycle to complete your journey.’

TfL’s official list in full:

Station   Please don’t use these stations for:

East Ham   Entry
Barking    Entry and Interchange
Brixton    Entry
Canada Water   Interchange
Canary Wharf LU   Interchange
Canning Town   Entry and Interchange
Clapham Junction  Interchange
East Croydon   Entry and Interchange
Lewisham DLR   Entry
Leyton    Entry
Liverpool Street LU  Entry
London Bridge LU   Entry
North Acton   Interchange
Seven Sisters   Entry and Interchange
Stratford    Entry and Interchange
Walthamstow Central  Interchange
West Croydon   Entry
West Ham   Interchange
Wood Green   Entry
Woolwich Arsenal   

The list may change from time to time.

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