Tube Station Stress!

From conference facility organisers PowWowNow comes this map/infographic showing the worst tube stations in central London for stress. They’ve produced a simple index of tube station stress by combining minutes of station-specific delays for tube trains, with the total numbers of people entering/exiting the station, and counting negative/mixed social media (mainly Twitter) posts. All three measures were counted across a full year and then combined to produce a stress index. The 15 highest scoring stations are mapped here.

Acton Town (not on the map) actually scores worst in terms of tube train delay minutes, but this is more than mitigated by relatively fewer people using it (and tweeting negatively about it) so it doesn’t make the top 15. Stratford and Canary Wharf are the two non-Zone 1 stations that do. I’m a little surprised to see that Canada Water didn’t make it into the list, the interchange from there is the source of a lot of pain as it simply can’t deal with the numbers of people switching from the Overground to the Jubilee line, during the rush hour. The data comes from TfL Open Data (for the user counts), a TfL FOI request (for the delays) and use of a commercial sentiment analyser.

The subtext to the map is presumably PowWowNow suggesting that maybe skipping the tube and staying at home or working in a different location would be a good idea. True – avoiding the centre of town in general is always a smart move for a stress-free journey.

From a cartographical perspective, we rather like the use of the tube stations with faces at various levels of stress, and the yellow/red colour ramp – it starts “pretty bad” and only gets worse! (N.B. there are 16 faces on this top 15 map, as Bank/Monument appears twice. It’s such an awful experience that we can forgive this extravagance).

Data for the 15 most stressful stations.


  1. Highest stress station is actually Holborn. That’s why it is TfL’s highest priority for a station capacity expansion.
    So why isn’t it on this list? Because they are using the wrong measure. Whether a station is stressful is much more about whether the facilities are adequate for the number of people trying to use it.

  2. I think all station can be stressful especially if you don’t allow enough time. Most of the stress I’ve witnessed is the people, not the stations. Recently I would agree due to the poor management but overall if people allowed a bit more time instead of last-minute Harrys they would not be as stressed.

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