Covent Garden is a London Underground station in Covent Garden. It is on the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Holborn. The station is on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.
Covent Garden station is one of the few stations in Central London for which platform access is only by lift or stairs(195 steps). It was previously "exit only" on Saturday afternoons, when the surrounding shopping areas are at their busiest, since so many people visit the station and there is the risk of dangerous overcrowding of the platforms. It is reportedly the busiest station on the network at which access to the platforms is primarily by lift as 192 steps need to be climbed to access or exit the station. The "exit only" rule has been lifted, but from 6 June 2007 until December 2007 the station was "exit only" at all times while work was carried out to improve access and ticketing facilities. Posters at the station give details of the alternative methods of getting to and from Covent Garden using surrounding stations.
The journey between Leicester Square station and Covent Garden is only 0.26 kilometres (0.161 miles), the shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the Underground network. Interestingly, this means that London Underground's standard £4 single fare for the journey between these two stations equates to £24.84 a mile, making this particular fare for this particular journey more expensive per mile than the Venice Simplon Orient Express.
The station is unusual in being tiled in a light colour pattern, as it has always been, making its passageways appear light, airy, and welcoming.
The station opened on 11 April 1907, just under four months after the start of Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) services on 15 December 1906.
Transport for London have committed themselves to easing the congestion at the station, which may involve the creation of a new exit further north along Long Acre (i.e. away from Covent Garden Piazza and nearer the eclectic shopping district which surrounds Neal's Yard), and the provision of escalator access.
There are four lifts which give access to street level; alternatively, there are 193 narrow and steep emergency steps to the street. During the lift journey a recorded announcement is played asking passengers to have their tickets/passes ready as they exit the lifts and where to turn for Covent Garden's market. However, during the station's improvement works in 2007, this announcement was only used in lifts 1 and 2, as exit arrangements meant that the information was less accurate for passengers in the other two lifts. However, due to a final flight of stairs from the lifts to the platforms, it does not have full disabled access.
It is said that the ghost of actor William Terriss haunts the station.
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