So I have continued with my mini project of grabbing my daily photograph in the 300 steps that comprise the journey between my front door and the bus stop each morning. But today’s offering was usurped on arrival at work. I’d been scowling at the eyesore that is currently obliterating the handy escalator that would whisk the weary commuter from the scrum of the Jubilee Line to just outside our front revolving doors. But no, as part of the "let’s really annoy all our passengers" campaign London Bridge station and Thameslink have apparently adopted, for weeks and weeks this escalator has been taken out of service with a vague promise at some unspecified date it will return into use, donning a natty roof.
We moved into our shiny new building at the end of November, we had just over a month of being able to travel from Waterloo via Waterloo East, one stop to London Bridge. You would take the escalator in Waterloo up to the mezzanine level and on arrival at London Bridge, join the crowds walking out the front onto the piazza, narrowly avoiding the buses leaving the bus station. It was slightly akin to a rugby scrum and the curious platform roulette at Waterloo East was a unpredictably annoying, but the alternative route whilst London Bridge Station 2.0 is transforming is much, much worse. Many of those who used to cram into the trains on the one-stop to London Bridge have been forced onto the already very crowded Jubilee line, and that also means three escalators down and three back up two stops later. And this last one of the six is the one we’ve been cruelly denied access to for so long. We’ve also been exposed to the euphemistic term ‘customer easing’ which may imply passengers being relieved of some trouble but actually entails herding us into another part of the station and shutting off the travelator/escalators just to make the whole journey even longer and more tedious. And this morning drama will continue to enfold for another sixteen months, yay! This last leg of the commute is horrible but the final straw is this perfectly good escalator that is lurking behind an elaborately constructed hoarding.
As I shot it another vexed glance, I looked up and realised that if you stand just so on a certain spot the Shard appears to fit quite neatly into what was called the Baby Shard before we made it our home. I am most intrigued to know whether this particular quirk was something that Renzo Piano had in mind when he designed the two buildings. But whether intended or not it certainly makes a striking image and perhaps demonstrated our sibling similarities despite the obvious disparity of stature. A Shard/News Building jigsaw puzzle if you will.