Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, but I like to think I know the city like the back of my hand. Don’t we all?
But there’s one Tube station that even the most knowledgeable of Londoners may not have heard of.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the quietest station on the whole of the London Underground map – Roding Valley.
The station can be found in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, in the Epping Forest district. It sits at the boundary of Greater London, in Zone 4.
And to add to the surprise, the station belongs to none other than the Central line, one normally packed with commuters who alight at the packed-out Oxford Circus, Bond Street and Bank.
Roding Valley sees just over 1,000 people pass through it on average each day – about 368,000 per year.
For some context, the underground’s busiest station, London Waterloo, sees around 150,000 passengers tap in and out through its gates each day. That’s around 86,903,518 per year, 250 times more than Roding Valley.
Roding Valley opened in 1903 on what was then known as the Fairlop Loop, a line that went from Woodford to Ilford. This loop was to join the Central Line in 1938, but was halted by the Second World War.
In 1947, Roding Valley was closed, and didn’t open up again until November 1948 when it joined the Central Line, which it has been a part of ever since.
After London Waterloo, the busiest stations are London Victoria, London Liverpool Street, and London Bridge and Birmingham New Street. No surprise there – in pre-Covid conditions, rush-hour tubes heading to these stops saw passengers packed in like sardines.
On the other end, joining Roding Valley in the least busy rankings are Chigwell and Grange Hill, both also in Essex, Hertfordshire’s Chorleywood, and North Ealing.
So for commuters who love to stretch out their legs, open their newspaper, and avoid getting pressed up against a stranger, it looks like the routes through Essex are your best bet.
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.