‘Inconsiderate’ Bakerloo closure criticised by Little Venice canal fans

The Little Venice Canalway Cavalcade has attracted big crowds to the area in recent years. Picture:

The Little Venice Canalway Cavalcade has attracted big crowds to the area in recent years. Picture: Garry Knight (CC by 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Transport for London (TfL) plans to shut the Bakerloo Underground line over the May bank holiday have angered narrowboat afficionados.

Attendees at the annual Little Venice Canalside Cavalcade will be forced to find an alternative route to W9 for the popular event.

London canals expert and disability access campaigner Rog Ford told the Wood&Vale the plan would “cut off a large number of people from having easy access”.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Inland Waterways – which organises the event – also criticised the closure.

She said: “We think it’s very inconsiderate of TfL to organise works on a weekend when there’s going to be so many visitors to the area.”

But she added: “We’re big enough to deal with it though. It’s still possible for people to come up from Paddington, which is obviously well-connected, so it shouldn’t affect us too badly in the end.”

The Cavalcade sees thousands head to the waterways close to Warwick Avenue, but this year the Tube closure will complicate journeys for many.

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Rog, who runs the LondonCanals.uk website, explained: “There’ll be very few options from the north-west of London.”

He added: “The other concern will be that the narrow access point from Paddington will cause problems in terms of safety. It’s a wide route, of course – however, during the Cavalcade, the space is naturally taken up by stalls, so it’s not exactly going to be convivial.”

He’s also worried about more crowds around Paddington making the event harder to get to for the disabled.

Caroline Sheridan from London Underground said: “We’re sorry that the planned closure of the Bakerloo line over the first May Bank Holiday weekend coincides with this event.

“Planned closures of this type enable us to complete vital engineering works, are scheduled months in advance and are chosen for when we expect fewer customers to be affected.

“We will publicise the range of alternative travel options available for Bakerloo line customers, including using Paddington station, well in advance.”