‘I visited the worst rated London Underground station and I didn’t think it was that bad’ – Martin Elvery
There’s one station on the London Underground network that’s been getting a seriously rubbish Google reviews recently.
Reviewers have taken to the web platform to moan about the West London station for being overcrowded and outdated.
One kind reviewer called it the “worst in the capital” and another, “the worst station imaginable”.
In the one to five star-rated reviews – one being the poorest, it was slapped with a 2.5 overall rating.
READ MORE: The abandoned London Underground station that’s now a huge bus garage
At the other end of the scale, the recently completed Battersea Power station with all its modcons has been given a glowing 4.9.
Can you guess what the poorest rated station is yet?
Well, a big clue is that it’s a place which has recently acquired a premiership football team.
Yes, you got it, it’s Gunnersbury in Brentford.
Reviewers have slammed the station for being overcrowded, especially on match days where apparently things gets crazy.
One reviewer called it “illogical” and another said it was the “ugliest” on the network.
At the end of the day it’s the closest Tube station to the Brentford Community Stadium where 17,000 fans can descend on a Saturday, so someone should have seen this coming!
As you approach from the south entrance down a back street, you go through a dingy alleyway to what’s little more than a small gloomy door. This leads you onto the station concourse over the tracks through a grey uninspiring corridor. Pretty grim so far.
It opens up a bit when you get the ticket office further along which looks brightly lit and reasonably modern, but it’s still very narrow.
There’s only about three or four ticket barriers on one side and just one on the south side so it’s very easy to see how this becomes a total bottleneck.
On the plus side there’s plenty of staff around who seem helpful and friendly.
But it’s when you go to get down to the platform level you see the biggest problem.
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There’s just one single staircase getting down the platform and it turns out to be an island platform with tracks on both sides.
When these get crowded they are a bit of a nightmare and it can feel like you’re standing on a raft in the ocean about to be jostled off by fellow passengers!
But for all that, it’s not nearly as bad as the much narrower island platform that used to be on the network.
Speaking to a passenger called Gabrielle who works in Kew Bridge, munching his sandwich waiting for a train, he tells me this isn’t by any means the worst on the network.
“I never had any problems here. The delays are because of the stadium here. That’s the only time we have cancellations and delays. Apart from that it works pretty well,” he says.
He adds that the train staff are friendly and helpful and the station is well organised.
“I think the worst station is Willesden Junction, the drivers are not synchronised. Often trains arrive early and others don’t wait, the relation between the drivers is unprofessional. For London it’s awful,” he says.
“If you miss one train you have to wait another 15 to 17 minutes. If it’s a little icy we have massive delays and cancellations.
“Kenton is also very crowded. When people go in they have to push and shove each other. It’s impossible to go in without pushing other people.”
Further down the platform another lady says the station is fine and she’s never had any problem here.
It’s about 4.30pm on a week day and definitely not a match day, so we’re probably not seeing the worst of it.
Like a lot of the network too, the station’s problem probably lies in its age.
Ultimately it goes back to 1869 when it was first established on the District Railway.
Then it served a branch line from Kensington Olympia to Richmond and back then it was called Brentford Road.
Apparently it was damaged by a tornado in 1954 and had the roof ripped off and injured six people.
It was last majorly refurbished in the 1960s and therein perhaps lies the problem.
It’s not a horrendous station by any means, but it is in need of a serious update in terms of the platform, access, ticket office and barriers, especially to cope with match day traffic.
But let’s give TfL their credit for providing friendly helpful staff who are making the best of it.
And probably for much of the week it works fine as it is, but it’s best avoided when the Bees supporters and away crowds descend on it.
Watch our live video from the stationhere
What’s your favourite, least favourite station on the network? Email [email protected]
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