If you think it’s hard to get around the crowded streets of Notting Hill on Carnival Day, try getting on a Tube at 7pm on Monday! Transport for London has finally updated its travel information page and here’s a summary of what you can expect.
Very crowded, whichever route you choose. The following changes apply on both days of Carnival:
• Holland Park: exit only from 7pm
• Ladbroke Grove: closed
• Latimer Road: closed after 11.30pm
• Notting Hill Gate: exit-only 11am-7pm; Circle and District Line trains will not stop
• Westbourne Park: exit-only 11am-6pm; closes at 11.30pm
• Royal Oak: exit-only after 11am; closes at 6pm
Alternative stations nearby include:
• High Street Kensington
• Queen’s Park
• Shepherd’s Bush.
Just 10 days before the start of Carnival, London bus controllers announced plans for a strike over the bank holiday weekend. A Unite union officer said: “Our members are not going to accept a few crumbs from the rich man’s table. They deserve a decent pay rise.” Readers should check the TfL website (address below).
Even without a walkout, buses will be diverted around the Carnival Zone or will terminate short of their normal destination. The following services will be affected: 7, 16, 18, 23, 27, 28, 31, 46, 52, 70, 94, 98, 148, 220, 228, 295, 316, 328, 332, 390, 414, 452, N7, N16, N18, N28, N31, N98 and N207. Extra services will run on some routes. Long-distance coaches may also be diverted – check with the coach operator.
Santander cycle docks in the Carnival Zone will be suspended. If cycling to Carnival, leave your bicycle somewhere secure and out of sight. Don’t cycle within the zone – it can be dangerous and cause considerable annoyance to other carnivalgoers.
Taxis and minicabs
They will be hard to find unless you book in advance, and bear in mind that many roads in Carnival Zone are closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles. And they will have to sit in the same traffic jams as everyone else.
Travelling by mainline rail will be a huge headache as Network Rail’s engineers pull the tracks apart. Here are the basics:
• Cannon Street – no trains all weekend
• Charing Cross– no trains all weekend
• Euston no trains Sat 26 and Sun 27 August
• Liverpool Street to Shenfield, Ingatestone, Billericay and Barking – no trains Sun 27 and Mon 28 August
• Paddington – disruption to trains from Wales
• Waterloo – most platforms will be closed, many trains cancelled or diverted; avoid if possible.
Arrive early and leave early. Wherever you are, keep calm and take some food, a bottle of water and maybe a hip flask of something tastier. That way if you do get jammed up, you’ll at least have the energy to carry on!
For more information, go to www.tfl.gov.uk/notting-hill-carnival and www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/166034.aspx