There is often told tales by the subterranean conspiracy lot of a private entrance inside Westminster tube station that our elected masters can use to get into the Parliamentary Estate – should they deign to travel by London Underground.

I find it amusing that such tales get spread as the secret entrance is actually in full view of anyone who walks past it – and is has a sign on the door saying what it is. I mean, that it is an entrance, not that it is a secret.

Entrance to Portcullis House from the subway next to Westminster Tube Station

It’s actually not in Westminster Tube, but next to the subway that runs under the road – and which often provides a much faster way of crossing the road than the congested traffic lights by Parliament Square.

Also, while the general public cant use it, neither is it limited to MPs. Anyone with a permanent pass to Parliament can use it. The restriction on the general public is simply because it doesn’t have the necessary bag search systems in place.

I actually find it fascinating how such rumours of secret tunnels and hidden doorways are invented then spread without question or investigation, especially when the truth is in plain sight.

Oh, and while we are on the topic, no there isn’t a private tube train to Buckingham Palace. Why put the Royal Family on a tube train to Heathrow in the middle of a coup/war, when they would be expected to take helicopters to RAF Northolt?

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7 Comments

  1. Mark

    I’m not and MP, or a Lord, and nor do I hold a parliamentary pass, but I have used that ‘secret’ doorway on a couple of occasions. Each time it was actually to exit the Palace of Westminster – I had entered through the standard securitised entrance.

    The whole palace is amazing. The crowds are less if you, as a member of the public, are invited by a Peer, and then you may use the House of Lords entrance. It is amusing to see the rows of coat hooks, each labelled with a Lord or Lady’s name, in alphabetical order, rather like at a primary school.

  2. Any connection between the BBC on Portland Place and the Bakerloo line has been strenuously denied by a friend who has worked on the current renovation.

  3. Jimmy

    That one’s just a decoy ;-)

  4. Kit Green

    Before the rebuild of Westminster station (or was it before the IRA bombs of the 70s?) I well remember that the “private” entrance was as well signposted as any other exit.

  5. Tony

    Why put the Royal Family on a tube train to Heathrow in the middle of a coup/war, when they would be expected to take helicopters to RAF Northolt?

    Thank god no one still invented portable land-to-air missile launcher. Oh, wait..

    • IanVisits

      As in all things in life – there is no 100% guaranteed way of protecting a person when moving from point A to point B. What you do is take the route least likely to be dangerous.

      Spending a couple of hundred million quid on a tube tunnel link then sending the Royal Family on a public train to the wrong location is fairly low down the list of sensible ideas.

  6. I’ve used that exit from the Palace of Wesminster loads of times, usually late at night after parly debates. It’s very useful not to have to negotiate the traffic lights outside…

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