“Good morning and welcome to your new Bond Avenue station” croons a voice over the tannoy, and eventually it feels very actual. (Even when we’re greeted by the surreal look of Geoff Marshall carrying a tux, in sartorial homage to a sure fictional MI6 agent.)
Within the early hours of 24 October 2022, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the outgoing London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford have been amongst these there to witness the Elizabeth line station’s long-long-long-awaited opening. There was a stay efficiency to mark the event, too — a track from the Nationwide Theatre’s new musical, Hex (presumably a nod to the station’s problematic previous).
The gradual coach of the Elizabeth line’s central part, Bond Avenue ought to’ve opened in Might 2022, and arguably so much earlier than that. However as with all these Elizabeth line stations, you end up forgiving and forgetting, when you’re within the futuristic, creamy folds of its capacious concourses; and zipping alongside to, say, Paddington in three minutes flat.
We have mentioned it earlier than: the Elizabeth line is a type of time journey, which is able to ultimately shave hours, and even days, off your commuting life.
Whereas the brand new Elizabeth line stations admittedly do not possess the character of their tube station brethren (say, the Victoria line’s playful tilework), they do have their quirks, and one in all Bond Avenue’s is Darren Almond’s summary art work above the escalators within the Davies Avenue entrance. The actual speaking level although, is an escalator itself — the vertiginous 60-metre-long ascent to the opposite ticket corridor — an ethereal, and mildly scary upwards slope, the place you’re feeling like you ought to be rising on the gates of heaven, fairly than Hanover Sq..
Importantly, Bond Avenue’s opening means the ultimate piece of the Elizabeth line puzzle is in place. From Sunday 6 November, there will be direct trains from Studying and Heathrow to Abbey Wooden and from Shenfield to Paddington. I believe we are able to lastly say it now: the Elizabeth line is right here. All of it.