Five Worst Tube Changes
Locals and tourists alike hate these transfers.
Three of the busiest lines in London, and one of the most time-consuming and depressing changes. It gets points for being wheelchair-accessible, and thus at the vanguard of the ableist TFL network, but Green Park still hoovers up unnecessary travel minutes. The Jubilee line's the trouble, being at the end of two gruelingly long and drab grey tunnels, which not only take an age to traverse but which are subtly sloped. Walking uphill in low light isn't good for the soul, and it takes ages. Avoid.
Waterloo or London Bridge
A little ungenerous given the advantages the Jubilee line extension offers - but nevertheless, the same problem twice over is unforgivable. Walking from one end of these sprawling megastations is ameliorated by Gladiators-style travelators, and by the Jubilee's signature Brosnan-era-Bond metal-and-concrete colour scheme. But frankly, it's not enough. Fun as it can be to inwardly pretend you're scuttling around in the bowels of a crashed spaceship, commuters don't have the time to fantasise away the inconvenience, and outsiders will likely be busy figuring out where the hell they even are (or worrying about not getting to Les Mis on time).
Smacks of the scene in "Alien: Resurrection" where the Ripley clone encounters the experiments that preceded her birth and finds a tangled mess of human and alien writhing on a stretcher, begging for someone to end its ill-conceived existence. London's own genetic-experiment-gone-horribly-awry, this spaghetti junction is a nightmare writ large. And we're talkin' LARGE; in the unhappy event of a nuclear holocaust, the entire working population of the City could survive down here. It's a Byzantine subterranean maze populated largely by a frosty elite, like CERN without the groovy science, and it's not for the nervous, ditzy or otherwise directionally compromised - and isn't that all of us, sometimes?
Farce! That TFL have the nerve to pass these two stations off as one is, frankly, astounding. To be fair, they are at least separated on the tube map, but given that they renamed the second Shepherd's Bush to Shepherd's Bush Market, it'd be nice if they could clean up this oversight. See, Hammersmith (H&C/Circle) and Hammersmith (District/Piccadilly) aren't dating, or even fooling around; they're just good friends, keeping an appropriate distance across the grisly central intersection of the gateway to the west. Hammersmith, like Balham, feels grey however sunny the weather; God knows it needs better PR than two stations misleadingly disguised as one.
Besides the foreboding feeling of heading to Oxford Circus itself, the black heart pulsing at the core of London's capitalist torso, the street's mangled station is a maze of head-height tunnels and narrow staircases inhospitable to all but the most dogged and insane. Change from Victoria to Central or Bakerloo lines here and you'll waste a few minutes in real time, but feel hours more exhausted - not least because of the crushing conditions on this stretch of the station's three deep lines. An overlooked coal lump in the TFL stocking.
These are only some of the worst offenders; other competitors litter the famous tube map. But avoid these 5 trouble spots and you'll save hours every year in wasted subterranean schlepping. Here's to life spent (mostly) above ground.