I just received a rather badly worded email from TfL laying out what they will do at Canary Wharf tube station during the Olympics, which leaves more questions than it answers.

First, here is the text of the email.

I am writing to let you know that Canary Wharf Tube station will operate a one way system from Monday 30 July until Friday 10 August. This will apply from 1600 – 2000 on weekdays only, and is needed to help manage Games time demand.

Entry to the station from street level will be via the West Plaza entrance. The Fosterito entrance will be closed.

Exit from the station will be via the East entrance to street level.

[generic GAOTG foter]

The problem with this email is manifold, and shows that it has been written by someone who is too close to the company and doesn’t understand how the lay-person thinks.

a) What on earth is the ” Fosterito entrance”?

b) While 1600 – 2000 may be technically correct, 4pm-8pm is probably quicker to register and remember.

c) The station has three other exists to the shopping centres which are can be presumed to be unaffected by references to “exit to street level”, but it’s not really clear.

For example, can I leave via the western exits to the shopping centres, or are they inward only to match the main entrance? Then again, can I enter via the eastern shopping centre route, or is that exit only?

Ignoring the issue of the shopping centre entrances, the email should have read something closer to:

We are making important changes to Canary Wharf tube station during the Olympics that will affect how you can use the station in the evenings.

On Mon-Fri, between 4pm to 8pm, to get into the station, use the main Western entrance with the five escalators, all of which will be entry only.

To leave the station in the evenings, use the two escalators at the eastern end of the station.

The entrances leading to the shopping centres [are/are not] affected by these changes. Also, the small stand-alone exit at the very far eastern end will be closed.

During the morning rush hour and at weekends, the station entrances will work as normal. The changes will start on Monday 30 July and remain in place during the Olympics.

[generic GAOTG foter]

It’s a bit longer, but seems to me to be much clearer to understand what is happening.

I still don’t know what is happening to the three shopping centre exits, but it is much clearer to understand when and where the changes we do know about are taking place.


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  1. Stephen says:

    I actually ended up on this page while searching for “Fosterito entrance” – despite having worked in Canary Wharf for a number of years and using the Jubilee line daily, I had no idea what/where the Fosterito entrance is.
    I also wondered if the shopping centre exits were affected, since that is my normal route.

    So I agree 100% with your rant 🙂

    • IanVisits says:

      Yes, a lot of people used Google today to work that out!

      FYI – it’s the tiny curved exit at the very far eastern exit, next to the Clifford Chance office.

  2. Ed says:

    Hysterical. I have ended up here too wondering what on earth the Fosterito entrance is. I also thought to begin with they meant the Tube itself would be one-way…

    Great rant and EIPC email fail for TfL.

  3. martxw says:

    A diagram would be better. In fact I need a diagram even when it’s not messed up ‘cos I keep on getting lost at Canary Wharf station. I know there are under cover ways of getting around but always end up walking out and crossing the roads. Obviously I’m not a frequent user.

  4. Mike says:

    If the rehearsal last Tuesday reflects the actual setup during the Games, it will mean that the exists/entrances through the shopping center are affected in the same way, meaning one direction only.
    You will not be able to get to any of the exits to the shopping center at the west end to leave the station. The only exits are the escalators at the east end to street level and the east end entrance to the shopping center (towards Waitrose).

  5. Andrew says:

    Londoners must have better orientation skills than Australians if they will automatically know where east is.

    • IanVisits says:

      I tend to consider the eastern end to be the back of the station that is the back for trains heading into central London, and also it’s not where the “main entrance” is located.

      But to say back and front entrances is probably confusing as some people might consider the eastern end to be “their” front entrance.

      However, I think most people working in Canary Wharf know which is east and west as it is on the alignment.

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