diamond geezer

 Saturday, March 27, 2004

Bow Road station renovation: update

Two weeks into the official renovation of my local Underground station, and time to keep you updated on latest progress. What a fortnight it's been. First a huge long blue wall appeared along almost the entire length of the eastbound platform, screening off the original paint-peeling walls from the travelling public and halving the width of the platform. And then a second blue wall appeared at the west end of the westbound platform, considerably shorter than its twin opposite, but standing tall proud and blue all the same. Today's photo shows an artist's impression of the location of those two blue walls, just to give you a visual flavour of what's going on.

Behind those two blue walls it's been impossible to tell if any real renovation work has been happening at all. I've seen no signs of action, no passing workmen, not even the hint of a discarded tool, no nothing. Maybe all the action has been happening after the 10pm station curfew, with a gang of painters and interior designers drafted in to give the ancient surfaces a silent makeover, but I'm not yet convinced. The planned renovation is due to take a whole year, so maybe actually doing some work comes up at a later stage, but it does seem to be a very slow start.

But the eastbound platform at Bow Road must now be the safest station platform in the UK. Previously the walls were plain white, with just the occasional roundel interrupting the emptiness. Now the blue wall is covered by a dazzling assortment of safety signs, directional signs, informational signs, no smoking signs, way out signs, adverts and yet more safety signs. Presumably this is part of some government workplace directive, lest any innocent member of the public should accidentally stumble into the building site and maim themselves horribly. But it does all seem a bit over the top, especially when the opposite platform is just as dangerous but completely under-signed.

Anyway, for those of you who've been following the daily reports from Bow Road via my comments boxes, I've now shifted all those into this comments box, just to ensure that they don't disappear off the bottom of the front page. The excitement continues? Mind the gap.

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