Local News / Travel

Re Imaging of The Tube Map Not A Good Idea?

With our nation and London wide communities having just celebrated the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, 2013 brings new and fresh innovations for running what is known as our capital’s most highly used public transportation.

The London Underground provides lots of tube history to explore – The first train service which was the Metropolitan Railway line, ran in 1863 with a connection from Paddington to Farringdon and has since developed a service where approximately 3.66milion use the tube on a daily basis.

Today’s generation of tube service poses to be the one of the most excitable, what with the Wi-Fi installation across a number of stations and the newly proposed plans to extend service times over the weekend up to 2am.

The latest innovation to spring into action- is the idea of re-imaging the underground tube map which we all know and love. Our current map made by Harry Beck, has remained relatively unchanged for 80 years. Considering it was designed in 1931, do we need a change?

A new and official map plan, designed by Dr Max Roberts was released January 30th- shy of a few weeks from the marking of 150 years of underground service. The idea behind the map was to ground it using a circular pattern as the familiar shape will be easier for travellers to comprehend. – Although nothing has been adopted or confirmed by officials from the TFL.


The new map looks as though it could be easier to use once people get used to it. However, there is a great deal of inertia in people, they prefer what they know how to use. – The original is something people know and the split views in relation to change are ones that are obvious in the younger London generation.

First impressions the map from Italian tourist Rita Belo, 27: “I miss the old one.”
“Maybe it’s because I’m from abroad and I’m familiar with the other one.”

“Looks more interesting and should read more clearly because it’s got a radius.” – Melodie Leung, 23- finds the tube developments a positive thing: ‘moving with the times’. “It is bound to have changed over the 150 years of running.”

Workers of the underground couldn’t make comment as they work for tfl.

Although the new design is possibly better, it could take some getting used to, and could be confusing at first.

Dr Max Roberts is giving a talk – Underground Maps Unravelled – at the Design Museum on February 19. Visit designmuseum.org/talks for more details – “The whole systems are changing.”


4 thoughts on “Re Imaging of The Tube Map Not A Good Idea?

    • You’re certainly right Pippa. Bare in Mind this may be an official redesign but it hasn’t yet been confirmed to be the new tube map of London- the old one stays for now at least! 🙂

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