Why hardly any London Underground stations are in South London | UK | News

The southern half of London is well known for not being well connected compared to north of the river, with significantly less Tube lines going through the area.

Though it has got some London Overground, trams and Thameslink connections, it is no secret that South London was robbed when it came to allocating Tube stations in the city.

North London was handed the lion’s share, with more than 250 stations north of the River Thames and just 29 to the south.

But why are there are so few Tube stations in South London? 

Much of the reasoning is to do with the history and geographical layout of London. Historical London was built north of the River Thames.

The Romans settled in what is now the City of London with expansion into places like Westminster.

South London was not taken that seriously and many places like Croydon or Clapham that are now heavily populated areas were essentially countryside.

Essentially, growth and demand all occurred in the north and so that’s where stations were needed.

Another major factor was the suitability of the ground in the south. Where the soft clay soil in the north was perfect for Tube tunnel burrowing, the ground in the south was much harder.

In 2017, Croydon Council was keen for the Tube to be extended from Lewisham to Elmers End and then East Croydon.

However, a report said any Underground route making use of existing rail connections would mean a slower service with fewer trains than National Rail services currently provide.

It added that a tunnelled route from Elmers End to East Croydon would have a “significant adverse impact on the built and natural environment” because of a lack of suitable areas for construction and tunnelling works.

Another reason Tube stations flourished in the north was due to the large railway stations built there in the 1800s including Kings Cross, Paddington, Euston and St Pancras.

These stations were the end of the line for many commuters due to a Royal Commission in 1846 not allowing trains to advance fully into the City of London.

With roads in London becoming hugely congested, alternative ways for people to move between the City and the stations needed to be found. Hence, the birth of the Underground.

What South London lost in Tube stations it more than made up for through its National Rail network.

During the 19th century, while the big train companies were getting fat in London, smaller private train companies were busy constructing an elaborate rail system in the south.

Once the Underground had taken hold around the City of London and they started looking to the south they were already too late for the party.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1900009/london-underground-map-stations

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