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South Bank - Waterloo Area

Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8FS

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Access Guide

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Introduction - Waterloo Area

  • This guide describes the area around Waterloo Station, including Waterloo Road, York Road, Westminster Bridge Road and Lower Marsh.
  • This includes the entrances into the station on Waterloo Road and Cab Road and also Station Approach Road.
  • Where there are push-button pedestrian crossings in the area, unless otherwise stated, these have dropped kerbs with tactile paving.
  • The crossing controls have visible signals and a rotating cone for visually impaired users under the push button.
  • This will usually be on the control to the right in each location, facing the oncoming traffic.

Getting Here

Related London South Bank Venues (Leake Street Arches)

Related London South Bank Venues (Imperial War Museum)

Related London South Bank Venues (Park Plaza Hotels)

Related London South Bank Venues (London Marriott County Hall)

Related London South Bank Venues (The Old Vic)

Related London South Bank Venues (London County Hall Venues)

  • This section provides links to detailed Access Guides surveyed within London County Hall.

Related London South Bank Venues (Morley College Event Spaces)

Related London South Bank Venues (St John's Church)

Waterloo Road

  • This section describes Waterloo Road from the junction with Baylis Road and The Cut to where it joins Tenison Way, near to the BFI Imax roundabout (around 350m).
  • The pavement is generally level with a flagstone surface.
  • It is narrow in parts with signage, bus stops and other street furniture presenting some obstructions.
  • Where service vehicle access points cross the footpath, these have flush kerbs, and some have tactile paving (shown in photographs 1-3).
  • Around 150m north of The Cut, there are ramped and stepped entrances into Waterloo Station (shown in photographs 4-7).
  • There is level access by lift into Waterloo main line station and the Jubilee Underground station from this entrance.
  • There are large bollards across the pavement outside the entrance.
  • The area is likely to be congested.
  • Outside the station entrance is a push-button pedestrian crossing (shown in photographs 8 and 9).
  • The crossing is close to Sandell Street where there is a stepped entrance (70+ steps) into Waterloo East.
  • There is step-free access to Waterloo East through the main Waterloo entrance.
  • North of the station entrance, the road passes under two railway bridges.
  • In this area, Mepham Street joins from the west side (shown in photograph 10) and Alaska Street and Exton Street from the east.
  • There are dropped kerbs at the crossing points but only partial tactile paving.
  • Note that cycles are allowed on the pavement in this area.
  • There is a push-button pedestrian crossing to cross Waterloo Road under the bridges (shown in photograph 11).
  • Although there is a flush central refuge, the crossing is timed to be crossed in one go.
  • North of the bridges, there is a zebra crossing where a link from Mepham Street joins Waterloo Road (shown in photograph 12).
  • On the west side of Waterloo Road, the footpath become Tenison Way.
  • On the East side, Waterloo Road continues past St John's Church to the junction with Stamford Street at the BFI Imax roundabout (shown in photographs 13-16).
  • There is some stone bench seating in the wide paved area in front of the church.

Tenison Way and Waterloo Station/York Road Link

  • Tenison Way is the main bus stop area serving Waterloo Station.
  • It is parallel to Waterloo Road and connects with York Road in the area of the BFI Imax roundabout (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • Potential hazards in the area include narrow pavements, bollards, street trees, bus stops, bins and other street furniture.
  • The area is often congested with queues at the bus stops.
  • Cyclists may also use the pavement.
  • There are three walkways through the railway arches between Tenison Way and Mepham Street.
  • The one near bus stop H has steep slopes and bollards at the Mepham Street end (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
  • There is stepped access into Waterloo Underground station in this area.
  • The central archway (shown in photograph 7) and northern archway both have bollards at the Tenison Way end.
  • The archway nearest to York Road connects with the zebra crossing points towards Waterloo Station (shown in photographs 8-12).
  • There are steep slopes down then up in the tunnel.
  • This is also the recommended route from Tenison Way to York Road, avoiding road crossings that do not have dropped kerbs.

Tenison Way and Waterloo Road/Stamford Street Link

  • From the Tenison Way bus stop area, there is a zebra crossing to cross the bus lanes towards Waterloo Road (photographs 1-3.)
  • Note that cyclists also share the bus lane.
  • There are two separate push-button pedestrian crossings to cross Waterloo Road (photographs 4 and 5).
  • From the paved area close to the Waterloo Road/Stamford Street junction there is ramped or stepped access to the underpass leading to the BFI Imax cinema (photograph 6).

Link from Tenison Way to Concert Hall Approach

  • This section describes the link from Tenison Way to Concert Hall approach.
  • This leads to Belvedere Road and access points to the riverside, The Queen's Walk.
  • At the Tenison Way/York Road junction there are two separate push-button pedestrian crossings with a refuge between (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
  • On the northern side, this meets York Road at its junction with Concert Hall Approach.
  • The footpath on this side of Concert Hall Approach is very uneven and narrow around some of the street trees (shown in photographs 3 and 4).
  • This area can be avoided by using the push-button crossing to the opposite side of Concert Hall Approach (shown in photograph 5).
  • There is a stepped access to the underpass leading to the BFI Imax Cinema in this area (shown in photograph 6).
  • There are alternative step-free routes from Belvedere Road, at the Waterloo Road/Stamford Street junction outside Waterloo Station.
  • Concert Hall Approach has a long slope downhill towards Belvedere Road and the Royal Festival Hall (shown in photographs 7 and 8).

Link from Waterloo Station to York Road

  • This section describes a step-free walking route from Waterloo Station to York Road.
  • The route is around 200m.
  • From York Road there is a pedestrian route to Belvedere Road and the South Bank using Concert Hall Approach.
  • There are two step-free access points from Waterloo Station to Cab Road (also known as Taxi Road or Station approach on some maps).
  • These are located opposite platform 5 or opposite platform 2 (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
  • These access points also provide step-free access from Waterloo East Station.
  • From the station, turn left and follow Cab Road downhill, through the covered area (shown in photographs 3 and 4).
  • There is a busy taxi rank in this area.
  • Continue downhill alongside the building towards the stations main entrance (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
  • There are bus stops serving routes 211 and 507 here.
  • Just before the main entrance, there are some clearly marked bollards across the foot path with a 115cm access gap (shown in photographs 8 and 9).
  • Near to the Waterloo stepped entrance, there is lift or stepped access to the underpass linking to the BFI Imax Cinema.
  • Continue ahead past the entrance then bear right to the zebra crossing at the access road (shown in photographs 10 - 12).
  • The crossing has dropped kerbs with tactile paving.
  • Cross to the central island then turn left before the TFL Legible London sign post and cross over the access road to continue downhill towards York Road (shown in photographs 13 and 14).
  • The crossing of the access road has flush kerbs without tactile paving.
  • There is also a cycle route to the right in this area.
  • At York Road there is a button-controlled pedestrian crossing (shown in photographs 15 and 16).
  • The crossing has dropped kerbs with tactile paving and an unmarked central refuge.
  • The lights are timed to cross both lanes of traffic in one go.
  • The crossing controls have audible and visual signals.
  • The push buttons to both the left and right have rotating cones for visually impaired users.
  • Keeping to the left of the crossing avoids possible conflict with the cycle path users.

Link from York Road to Belvedere Road

  • This section describes a walking route from York Road, near to Waterloo Station to Belvedere Road, at the rear of the Royal Festival Hall.
  • The route is about 170m.
  • After the pedestrian crossing at York Road, continue ahead on the wide pedestrian route known as Sutton Walk (shown in photographs 1-3).
  • The path has level flagstone paving as it passes under the railway bridge.
  • After the bridge, Sutton Walk meets Concert Hall Approach, which is used by vehicles coming from Belvedere Road to the left.
  • The road surface is flush with the footpaths and there are no marked crossing points (shown in photographs 4 and 5).
  • Cross to the wide footpath on the opposite side (shown in photograph 6) and turn left towards the Royal Festival Hall (shown in photograph 7).
  • At the end of the road, Concert Hall Approach meets Belvedere Road (shown in photograph 8).
  • There is two-way traffic on this road.
  • The road surface is level with the footpaths in this area, but there are no marked crossing points.
  • Cross to the opposite side of the road for access to Centenary Square and access to the Festival Terrace ahead.

York Road

  • This section describes York Road from Waterloo Station to where it becomes Addington Street at the roundabout with Westminster Bridge Road (about 200m).
  • From York Road there are links to Chicheley Street and Forum Magnum Square for the County Hall building and routes to the riverside attractions.
  • There is also a link to the Leake Street Arches and a pedestrian route to Lower Marsh.
  • There are bus stops on York Road for TFL services and tour company buses.
  • The pavements are generally level with a flagstone surface (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
  • Between Cab Road and Chicheley Street there is also a covered walkway alongside the building on the east (train station) side of the road (shown in photographs 3-6).
  • There are large square columns between this walkway and the main pavement.
  • There are often café tables, A-board signs and shop display units in this area.
  • At the junction with Leake Street there are dropped kerbs with tactile paving and some unmarked bollards (shown in photographs 7 and 8).
  • Between Leake Street and the junction with Addington Street the pavement is wide and level.
  • There are some cycle racks near the edge of the pavement and a large traffic sign with supporting posts into the pavement (shown in photographs 9-12).

Access To (Waterloo Station from York Road)

  • There are stairs from York Road to a pedestrian footbridge linking to Waterloo mainline station.
    The nearest alternative step-free route into the station is from Cab Road.
    There are also step-free entrances from Station Approach and Waterloo Road.
  • The stairs to the footbridge are located on the east side of Waterloo Road.
    There are 36 steps, in flights of 15, 12 and 9 steps (shown in photographs 1-3).
  • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
  • The going of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
  • The steps are clearly marked.
  • The steps have tactile paving at the top and bottom.
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
  • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
  • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
  • Handrails are easy to grip.
  • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
  • There is a landing.
  • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are not provided on landings.
  • Comments View
    • At the top of the stairs there is a covered walkway then an open footbridge to connect with the main concourse of Waterloo station (shown in photographs 4-6).
    • On the opposite side of York Road is a direct entrance into Waterloo Underground station.
    • This was closed for construction works at the time of our visit but is expected to reopen in 2019.

Link from York Road to Chicheley Street

  • This section describes the junction of York Road and Chicheley Street.
  • Chicheley Street connects to Belvedere Road and the access point to the riverside attractions on The Queen's Walk.
  • The Jubilee Gardens are also in this area.
  • There are traffic lights and a push-button pedestrian crossing on York Road, just north of the junction with Chicheley Street (shown in photographs 1-3).
  • There are marked bollards across the pavement on Chicheley Street in this area.
  • There is a similar crossing point at the traffic lights across Chicheley Street (shown in photograph 4).
  • There is also a push-button pedestrian crossing on York Road on the other side of the Chicheley Street junction (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
  • Caution is needed at this crossing point as traffic queues often tail back across the area from the Westminster Bridge Road roundabout.
  • There are no signals to tell queueing traffic that pedestrians have a green light to cross.
  • In Chicheley Street the pavement is wide and level with a flagstone surface.
  • The Coca Cola London Eye can be seen in the distance (shown photographs 7 and 8).
  • There is some bench seating or varying heights with armrests.
  • There are also further marked bollards across the pavement in this area (shown in photographs 9 and 10).

Link from York Road to Leake Street Arches

  • This section describes Leake Street from the junction with York Road to the walkway through the arches which pass below Waterloo Station.
  • The arches are known for the display of street art.
  • There are also restaurants and event venues in the area.
  • Please see the linked Access Guides for details.
  • From the Leake Street arches there is stepped access to Station Approach and a step-free route through to Lower Marsh.
  • From the junction with York Road, take the pavement in Leake Street next to the NHS building.
  • This is the side opposite the large Leake Street sign (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
  • This will avoid the three vehicle access points into car parks on the opposite side of the road.
  • The pavement slopes downhill towards the arches and gets narrower (shown in photographs 3-5).
  • As the end of the footpath there is an unmarked dropped kerb to road level.
  • The walkway into the arches is ahead (shown in photograph 6).

Link from York Road to Forum Magnum Square

  • Forum Magnum Square is a pedestrian area between York Road and Belvedere Road.
  • It is surrounded by buildings of the County Hall complex where there are hotels, restaurants and other attractions.
  • There is a push-button pedestrian crossing on York Road directly opposite the square (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • The road is crossed in two sections with a central refuge.
  • The second part of the crossing is offset to the right of the refuge.
  • There is a row of bollards between York Road and the square.
  • The bollards contrast with their background.
  • The square is a large open area with level paving stones.
  • There may be some café seating at the edges of the square (shown in photographs 5 and 6).

Addington Road

  • At its southern end, York Road joins Westminster Bridge Road and Addington Road at a large traffic roundabout.
  • The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel stands at the centre of the roundabout.
  • Addington Road runs between this building and the Park Plaza County Hall Hotel.
  • The pavement is wide and level in this area.
  • There is a separate cycle lane between the footpath and the road (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • The Park Plaza County Hall (to the left in photographs 3 and 4) has a large colonnade in front.
  • There may be café seating in this area.
  • To the right of the hotel there is tactile paving to mark the dropped kerbs where the hotel service vehicle access point crosses (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
  • Between the hotel and the side of the station building is a step-free access point into the Leake Street arches (shown in photographs 7 and 8).
  • There are restaurants and an exhibition space in this area.
  • Where Addington Road becomes Westminster Bridge Road, it is crossed by Station Approach Road (shown in photograph 9).
  • This busy road leads up to Waterloo Station and is mainly used by taxis.
  • There is a push-button pedestrian crossing to cross Station Approach (shown in photograph 10).

Station Approach, Cab Road and Spur Road

  • Station Approach runs from the Westminster Bridge Road roundabout up to the rear of Waterloo Station.
  • At the rear of the building, the road splits into Cab Road and Spur Road at a mini roundabout.
  • Cab Road continues around to the front of the station, eventually joining up with York Road.
  • There are three step-free access points into the station from this road.
  • The first is around 500m from Westminster Bridge Road.
  • Spur Road connects to Baylis Road, near the junction with Lower Marsh and The Cut.
  • From the Westminster Bridge Road roundabout, Station Approach passes under the railway bridge.
  • It is a long continuous slope up to the station (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • The footpath is narrow in places and there are some obstacles such as columns and the staircase shown in photograph 2.
  • There is a stepped access point down to the Leake Street Arches in this area (shown in photograph 5).
  • There is also a crossing point leading to a steep slope which connects to Lower Marsh (shown in photographs 6 and 7).
  • From Cab Road, there is a step-free access point into the station concourse near to Platform 1 (shown in photographs 8-10).
  • Opposite this entrance is a crossing point which leads to a long steep ramp or steps connecting with Spur Road (shown in photographs 11-14).
  • The ramp has handrails to both sides.
  • The ramp or steps can be bypassed using Spur Road from its junction with Station Approach.
  • From station level, Spur Road runs steeply downhill to its junction with Baylis Road.
  • Cab Road continues around the building to the covered taxi rank area and the other access points into the station (shown in photographs 15 and 16).

Westminster Bridge Road

  • This section describes Westminster Bridge Road, from the traffic roundabout at the end of York Road to the junction with Lower Marsh (about 200m).
  • To the right of the 'Leake Street Arches' sign, the footpath passes under the railway bridge.
  • Lighting levels are relatively low, and the area is noisy (shown in photographs 1-3).
  • There are some cycle racks near the edge of the pavement in this area.
  • Midway under the bridge there is a junction with a taxi access road linked to Station Approach (shown in photographs 4 and 5).
  • There is a push-button crossing point at the junction.
  • About 50m after the bridge there are further push-button controlled crossings at the junction of Westminster Bridge Road with Upper Marsh and Lower Marsh (shown in photographs 6-8).
  • Lambeth North Underground Station (Bakerloo Line - not step-free) is around 120m further south along Westminster Bridge Road.

Lower Marsh

  • Lower Marsh runs from Westminster Bridge Road in the south to Baylis Road in the north, near to Waterloo Road and The Cut.
  • The road is around 300m long.
  • Although Lower Marsh has the character of a pedestrianised area, vehicles are allowed.
  • There is one-way traffic from Westminster Bridge Road towards the junction with Frazier Street.
  • The section of Lower Marsh between Baylis Road and Frazier Street has one-way traffic in the other direction.
  • There is two-way cycle traffic throughout the area.
  • There are cycle racks and cycle docking stations on the pavement (shown in photographs 1-4).
  • Monday to Saturday there are stalls selling world food along the street (shown in photographs 5-7).
  • The stalls serve from the pavement side.
  • There are also shared tables and bench seats set between the stalls on the pavement.
  • Around 100m from the junction with Westminster Bridge Road is the pedestrian link by ramps down to the Leake Street Arches or up to Station Approach (shown in photographs 8 and 9).
  • At the crossroads with Frazier Street and Launcelot Street there are unmarked flush crossings in each direction (shown in photographs 10-12).
  • There are some very low bollards marking the corners of the junction.
  • There may be further food stalls in the section between Frazier Street and the junction with Baylis Road (shown in photographs 13-15).
  • The pavements may be congested in these areas and there may also be obstructions from A-board signs.
  • At the junction with Baylis Road, Lower Marsh broadens out into a public square which is shared with vehicles passing through (shown in photographs 16-18).

Link from Lower Marsh to Waterloo Road and The Cut

  • Lower Marsh joins Baylis Road opposite Waterloo Millennium Green.
  • There is a zebra crossing to cross Baylis Road at this point (shown in photograph 1).
  • The Green is an area of public open space with grassed areas and some bench seating (shown in photographs 2-4).
  • There is also a zebra crossing where Spur Road joins Baylis Road close to the junction with Lower Marsh (shown in photographs 5 and 6).
  • The crossroads between Baylis Road, Waterloo Road and The Cut is about 50m after this point (shown in photograph 7).
  • Each of the 4 crossings at the crossroads is push-button controlled (shown in photographs 8-12).
  • The Old Vic Theatre is on the south side of the junction, at the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road (shown in photograph 13).
  • On the opposite side of The Cut is an open space known as Emma Cons Gardens (shown in photographs 14).
  • There may be food kiosks in this area but there is no seating.