Wednesday 16th December 2020
No they won’t be; only joking.
But the latest edition of TfL’s Tube map has been updated and published both online and in print today. After much campaigning the Thameslink operated National Rail line has been added back … and not just between Elephant & Castle through the ‘core’ to Kentish Town as it was until 22 years ago in 1998, but the whole pink coloured shebang is now included to the map’s ‘geographic extent’ including the Wimbledon and Sutton loop as well as stations in south east London and north of the Thames.
This brings both the illogicality and illegibility of the map to previously unheard of heights. We have Crossrail depicted as far west as Reading ostensibly because TfL Rail operate it, but the full extent of Thameslink isn’t (no Brighton, Bedford or Cambridge, thank goodness). Stations in Thameslink on the Sutton loop and north of the Thames are shown but not nearby stations on Southern, Southeastern or Great Northern lines. If it makes sense (which many argued it did) to add Thameslink between Elephant & Castle/London Bridge and Kentish Town/Finsbury Park why not the Great Northern line between Moorgate and Finsbury Park, which after all used to be part of the Northern Line? Now, stations on Thameslink are shown through Hendon and Cricklewood (for example) so why not stations such as Palmers Green, Enfield Chase, New Barnet and Hadley Wood on the Great Northern – which no doubt will soon be included when they move over to TfL control and Overground status?
The upshot is a printed map that’s increasingly hard to decipher without a magnifying glass and far removed from being a “Tube’ map.
But this development, which has created much excitement among Tube map fans today, has made me, tongue-in-cheek, wonder if the next logical thing is for the map to be expanded to include London’s bus network. It’s probably the only way we’ll ever get a map out of TfL showing where buses go. Anything involving the Tube always gets a map. And even the trams, the Cable Car, the Overground, and now Thameslink are included.
And what’s more there’s a whole variety of Tube maps available. There’s a large print Tube map in colour; a large print Tube map in black and white; a Tube map showing step free stations; a Tube map showing stations without stairs; a Tube map showing where you can take a cycle; a Tube map showing tunnels; a Tube map showing walking times (in Zones 1 & 2); a Tube map showing how many steps it takes to walk at street level between stations (in Zones 1 & 2); a repeat of the last two but also including National Rail stations; and finally a Tube map showing toilet facilties. That’s a dozen different variations of Tube maps.
But for buses…..there’s a non geographic diagrammatic map showing “key” (ie tourist type) bus routes in Central London and a diminishing number of ‘spider maps’ and that’s it.
Want to know how the 19 routes serving the busy commercial centre of Wood Green and Turnpike Lane interact and where they go? Tough. There’s not even a ‘spider map’ to tell you. Nothing. Zilch. But there is a map telling you there are no toilets at Wood Green or Turnpike Lane Tube stations, both are in tunnels and don’t have step free access.
As I explained in a recent blogpost, I did ask a question of Andy Byford during an on-line London Travelwatch Board Meeting about the lack of bus maps and he promised to “look into it”. I followed this up by sending him an email, and was impressed to receive a reply three days later sent at 06:30 saying he’d asked colleagues to “consider your point and to respond re the issue of a system-wide bus map”, which was very nice of him.
A couple of days later I received a detailed reply from Vernon Everitt, TfL’s Managing Director, Customers, Communications and Technology which was good of him.
The short answer was “no”, but Vernon did take the trouble to try and justify the lack of a bus map. He explained “we have a very large and complex bus network. This changes frequently as a result of temporary route changes (for example road works) or because of more permanent route changes as we adapt the network to the needs of London. This meant bus maps were often quickly out of date, sometimes almost as soon as they had been printed. This is not the case for the Tube maps we produce – which are generally updated twice a year – reflecting the simpler core structure of the network and that material service changes are far less frequent”.
This raises a number of interesting points. For me, “a large and complex bus network” means it’s all the more important to use mapping to explain this to passengers and importantly attract new passengers.
“Temporary route changes” for roadworks are a long standing feature of bus operation everywhere and just like engineering work on the Tube, is something passengers accept as inevitable, but doesn’t negate the justification for producing a map of the established network. Most weekends, there are closures on the Underground, yet a map is still widely promoted and available even though it will be giving incorrect information for “temporary changes”.
It’s true the bus network has “more permanent route changes” (than the Underground) but I don’t think these are so commonplace they should render a bus map “quickly out of date” especially if these were better coordinated. For many years at Brighton & Hove we consciously arranged changes to the network on just two dates a year which coincided with an updated map and timetable book being produced. The same principle applies to the National Rail Network (in normal times) so passengers know when timetables are changed.
I’m not naive enough to think you could co-ordinate route changes throughout London to just a couple of dates, but bearing in mind some of the changes have been in the planning process for many months, if not years, it might well be possible to coordinate changes for different parts of London so the number of change dates is minimised. All the more so, as the previous practice was to publish five area maps for the London network (North East, North West, Central, South West, South East) so changes in Richmond, for example, would not render the North East map ‘out of date’ and therefore no need to reprint it.
I’ve taken a look at the changes made to London’s bus network this year. Most changes are about timetables, headways, contracts and vehicle allocations rather than route alterations which affect a map. The list is not as significant as you might think. Just 11 routes were involved with changes:
- 25th January: new route 497 in Harold Wood.
- 21st March: 404 extended in Coulsdon plus some minor re-routing.
- 23rd May: 483 extended from Ealing Hospital to Southall.
- 29th August: 112 changed route in Ealing and extended from Brent Cross to North Finchley and 384 extended to Edgware.
- 31st October: 383 extended to Finchley Memorial Hospital.
- 5th December 153 extended Moorgate to Liverpool Street
- 12th December: Extension of 110 to Hammersmith in place of 391 and parts of H22 which in turn diverted to West Middlesex Hospital and 493 cut back in Richmond.
But of course, 2020 might be regarded as an exceptional year with Covid leading to a lack of a ‘normal’ programme of service changes. So I also took a look at what happened in 2019 and here’s a summary of the route changes in that year:
- 9th March: minor route change to 27 and 440 in Chiswick/Hammersmith.
- 30th March: 88 subsumed route C2 Oxford Circus to Parliament Hill Fields.
- 10th April: emergency routes changes due to closure of Hammersmith Bridge which were formalised on 18th May.
- 20th April: route changes consequent on Tottenham Court Road’s new contra-flow bus lane
- 25th May: 125 extended Finchley Central to Colindale and minor change to 326 in the same area.
- 15th June: changes to 16 central bus routes as part of a coordinated Review.
- 13th July: new route 301 Bexleyheath to Woolwich.
- 3rd August: changes to 209 and new route 378 in Hammersmith.
- 24th August: change to 303 in Grahame Park.
- 28th September: 419 changed route in Roehampton.
- 12th October: 48 replaced with extension of 55, extensions to 11 and 133 to Liverpool Street and 388 to London Bridge.
- 26th October: new route 335 Kidbrooke to North Greenwich.
- 2nd November: changes to terminal arrangements for 8 routes in Croydon.
- 7th December: new routes 218, 278, 306, X140 with changes to 140, 224, 266, 391, 440 in Acton, Hammersmith, Ruislip and Heathrow areas.
For a network of several hundred bus routes, that’s not a very large number of changes and could easily be accommodated within a twice-a-year publication of bus maps. Indeed, the most significant changes in 2019 coincidentally occurred six months apart on 15th June and 7th December when printed maps could have coincided. Other changes could have been foreseen and incorporated – for example new route 301 introduced in July could have been included in a map produced in June with a suitable note about its forthcoming introduction; similarly the withdrawal of route 48 in October must have been known about back in June. Furthermore, changes to the Underground, such as step free access, are only added to the map when it’s next due to be reprinted – in between times, it’s not up to date.
And of course, keeping a bus map online up to date shouldn’t be a problem – I reckon the list of changes highlighted above could probably all be achieved in a day’s work for the entire year’s worth of changes at most – surely that’s a minimal overhead cost?
Vernon went on to say: “The other factor is demand from customers. When we made the decision to stop producing the maps, we looked at what customers were saying they wanted to enable their journey planning. Around two-and-a-half per cent of the people we asked said they used the Bus Area map and fewer than 1 per cent used the Spider map. Usage was therefore relatively very low for what were very expensive products to produce. We were also seeing a significant increase in customers using digital information tools. Our open data powers many of these and we now have our own range of digital products, including our new travel planning app, TfL Go. These will be developed and improved on a continuous basis”.
Of course, it’s well known that whereas Tube maps are displayed in open racks at every Underground station for passengers to help themselves to, bus maps were never on open display, and only available ‘behind the counter’, often hidden out of sight at Visitor Centres or information windows/kiosks at bus stations – when you could find these open. So it’s not surprising “around two-and-a-half per cent of the people we asked said they used the Bus Area map and fewer than 1 per cent used the Spider map”.
Indeed, if more than double the number of people said they used the Bus Area map than a Spider map, why discontinue the former, and keep the latter? This finding would point to the need for Area maps over the rather limited usefulness of a Spider map.
Talking of spider maps, TfL have recently introduced new criteria for their production which dramatically reduces the number available online and displayed in bus shelters. TfL will now only produce a spider map if (a) they show a minimum of five bus routes; and (b) must show any two of (i) a nearby significant place of interest (including hospitals, tourist attractions); or (ii) a transport facility (Tube or Rail station) or (iii) a major shopping centre/high street.
Quite why Wood Green and Turnpike Lane should no longer qualify is puzzling as the area boasts two Underground stations, a nearby rail station (Alexandra Palace) and is a major shopping destination. But click on the London Borough of Haringey for a list of spider maps on TfL’s website and it doesn’t appear. I wonder how many other omissions like this there are?
But there’s something else about spider maps. Their usefulness was changed last year by no longer showing the full length of each route nor a colour-coded index by route number alongside the bus stops it uses shown in a marked central area. The new look did away with that index and added the bus stops used in a little box at the end of each route.
Imagine you want to catch a bus from Croydon town centre to a nearby destination and take a look at the online spider map….
…. it’s virtually impossible to use, it’s so complex looking and almost indecipherable. This is no way to attract passengers on to buses. And note that over twelve months later there are still references to changed town centre bus stops implemented in November 2019. And, I believe further changes were implemented during the summer as part of reconfiguring road and pavements for social distancing which have not been incorporated in an updated map.
London Travelwatch have recently carried out a Transport User Survey and presented an overview of the responses at a Board meeting on 3rd December. Interestingly one of the points made by respondents was the lack of a bus map (both online and printed) so I’m hoping this will be something London Travelwatch will take up, as they did with putting Thameslink back on the Tube map. Maybe they’ll be similarly successful. One can but hope.
Back to that Tube map out today. Harry Beck must be turning in his grave at the sheer illegibility of it. It may be OK for those with excellent eye sight, but I suspect for many, it’s now got so small so it can accommodate all the features deemed worthy of inclusion, it’s almost no longer fit for purpose.
So we have a so called “Tube” map that’s become useless and a bus map that’s not, because there isn’t one.
For years it’s been a problem that people unfamiliar with the network just look at the tube map & aren’t always aware of much faster options using rail.
The inclusion of some routes but not others actually makes this worse as it reinforces the assumption that the only options are those shown on the tube map. I’m absolutely baffled that the criteria for showing a route is purely who it is operated by which is probably the least important factor for passengers, especially when uniquely in the UK London has completely integrated fares!
Imagine using that map to identity the shortest route from Clapham Junction to Wimbledon or Waterloo for example.
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Even 15-20 years ago it was very hard when working at a rail station to get maps from Tfl as they used to severely limit the number it was possible to order. Hence we kept bus maps ‘under the counter’, if out on open display the entire stock would be gone in a couple of hours so there was a huge pent up demand.
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I miss the old North east, north west, south east and south west maps – I remember fully opening them up on the floor and you could spot fascinating routes that you would never find now. Forutnately I still have some older ones, but it’s a huge miss
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Just seen that adding Thameslink is only temporary, no words!
I had never before seen the Tube map showing Tunnels. That is one map that won’t be subject to the ‘Frequent changes’ and ‘Quickly out of date’ constraints, except when new lines (e.g. Thameslink) are added.
However, looking at that particular map shows up a puzzling number of very short tunnels in the outer reaches. They are possibly not much more than long bridges and would be unlikely, in my opinion, to be a factor in whether, or not, to use a train on those particular sections of route.
Interesting, puzzling, but I would still argue for a return of useful bus maps for such a complex network of routes.
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I remember one of the last editions of the North East area map showing an as-yet not implemented change to the famous W9 route in Palmers Green, which was going to become one-way along alternate residential streets to mitigate problems of conflict along the narrow carriageway between parked cars. TfL had consulted on it, but there ended up being a backlash and the two-way working on Cranley Gardens (as opposed to one way northbound, with Burford Gardens taking the opposite direction) was retained in contradiction to what the map said. Perhaps they’ve had their fingers burned one too many times by the proactive approach you’ve suggested? I also vaguely remember one London Borough council producing their own Borough transport guide, including a bus map. No doubt that would be fiendishly inappropriate in the age of austerity, and not exactly the joined up approach to transport we expect in London.
Yes, the rail routes are illogical – why no Greenford to West Ealing service, for instance?
Many years ago, pre-Oyster but post-Travelcard, there were two maps: Tube and”Capital Connections”, the latter with all rail and Tube lines, travellable-on using a Capitalcard (which included rail) but not Travelcard (which was only LT).
I must agree with Kiran above, about the latent demand that exists for the London Bus Map.
Back in the day, (30+ years ago) about two box loads would be sent to sent to each Travel Information Centre and if put on display in the racks, the entire stock would be depleted in an hour.
The powers that be would make accusations of 1: the maps being hoarded for the benefit of enthusiast customers, who actually made up under 1% of the customers served, or 2: the maps being too willingly given out to enquiring potential passengers.
You really couldn’t make this up but it was clear even then that the desire was to dispense with the bus map.
There would be long gaps between issues and in between, even the staff would have to cope with widely shared, out of date, dog-eared, well-thumbed maps with which to answer public enquiries, as even a limited production run staff only issue was out of the question and there were no computers to assist back then.
Sounds as though the ‘mapping manager’ (whoever she/he may be) has completely lost track of who & what maps are for – perhaps because budget cuts were too readily agreed to in that dept?
How about outsourcing to an independent mapping company on the basis they can charge within a set price range while having complete control of marketing & distributing maps across & beyond LT premises? They’d be incentivised to sell enough at a sensible margin so that passengers benefit.
I don’t know if anyone else remembers these, but TFL also made some very high-quality cycle maps at some point too. You could call them up and ask for these cycle maps (and you could do this for the bus maps too) I just googled it and apparently, there were 15 different cycle maps created. Shame they disappeared too.
My oldest LT bus map is from 1962, when the longest route description was for the former 276 running between AR and BN garages.
There has long been a problem in identifying quite what the Tube Map is supposed to achieve. When it was just the London Underground it was relatively straightforward but the more recent insistence in including any TfL service that runs on rails, whether it is Tube, National Rail or Tram, has added complications both with clarity and coherence. The original showing of Thameslink between Kentish Town and London Bridge made sense because it provided effective links between Tube lines in the centre of London. Adding much more, but not all, of the Thameslink network only adds to the idea, largely started by the addition of London Overground services, that these are the only surface lines in London. Indeed, I well remember, just after the first Tube map including LO was published overhearing a young lady in a coffee shop excitedly telling her friend about a flat she was planning to buy near Norwood Junction “because they have opened a Tube line there”. The addition of selected Thameslink services adds to the distortion of this view even further. For example, my local station, Bromley South, now appears but with no indication that, in addition to the two all stations trains per hour for much of the day service that it shows there are five non stop trains per hour to a central London terminus (Victoria). I am sure that there are many other similar examples around the capital
There have has long been a reluctance by TfL and it’s predecessors to admit to the existence of other railways in London. Even the London map of the 1960s only showed the Underground as a system with lines individually identified by their colour. Whilst all the BR railways and stations were shown no attempt was made to indicate how they were part of a network.
It is time for TfL to look at London as a whole and take cognisance of the fact that there are other TOCs apart from London Overground and TfL Rail. I would suggest a decluttering of the Tube map (taking out all National Rail, London Trams and Emirates) with the exception of Thameslink from Kentish Town to London Bridge and Elizabeth Line from Liverpool Street to Paddington with a proper promotion of the London Connections map as a joint TfL/RDG production to demonstrate what is available by rail in London.
Not having a bus map, either as a single sheet or four quadrants, seems very misguided. So often getting a useful response from a Journey Planner requires you to know the answer to ask the right question. Whilst it is certainly true that people generally have fewer map reading skills than previously, partly due to the aforementioned journey planners but also because maps have increasingly been taken away from them. If maps are made easily available, which should be seen as an investment rather than an operating cost, then people will relearn the necessary skills and come to value the information. If accountants baulk at the cost of paper ones there should at least be virtual ones that can be downloaded. Travellers might discover what journeys are possible, especially in the suburbs, and (don’t say it too loudly) get on a bus.
What must the station index on the reverse look like now? It was already virtually illegible.
Agreed that adding the full extent of Thameslink to the “Tube” map has made it an even more confusing mess. I think a good solution would be to have (a) a “central London” map showing Underground, Overground, Wombling Free, Thameslink, DLR in zones 1 and 2, with selected NR services where they connect with TFL services away from the terminus (eg Waterloo – Vauxhall – Clapham Junction), and “continuation” arrows to show where they continue to, and then have (2) a full-blown London Connections map at a larger size, showing all rail services within the zones and possibly some surrounding areas as well, maybe with minimal detail for Underground services within zone 1 (eg missing out station names for non-interchange stations) to reduce clutter and improve legibility.
The London Connections map would never be distributed without the Central London map, so there would be no material loss of information from removing some station names, although the Central London map could still easily and sensibly be distributed as a stand-alone map. This would end the anomaly where some outer London services are shown and others aren’t, without compromising the readability of the map by trying to cram too much information into a pocket-sized map.
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Another thought about the “bus maps get out of date too quickly” … maybe don’t print them? You could have a “print on demand” service if printed copies were desperately needed for equal access reasons, but otherwise just make them available online where the only cost is the time to update them.
How come,if it is so difficult to produce a bus map, that Mike Harris can produce a London-wide one? https://www.busmap.co.uk/
Also, with regard to the Tube map, what will happen if Sadiq Khan gets his way and takes over all national rail metro routes? Would all lines then be shown on the Tube map?
The lack of a system bus map is quite inexcusable, but London just seems to be following the trend elsewhere in the UK. Tyne and Wear were first to opt out, presumably sulking as didn’t regain control over buses, followed by Manchester and Merseyside. West Yorkshire blow “hot and cold”, and South Yorkshire came a little late to the party, although goodness knows where they stand now. Only the West Midlands still produces such items, and the Operators are no better, with virtually none producing a proper System map. With a few notable exceptions, the Counties retreated long ago, and with all local Travelines shutting shop, any hope of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Public attempting to find out where buses actually go looks pretty bleak. Regarding the addition to the Thameslink section shown on the latest Tube map, and I don’t know the exact background reason, but the section from Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross/St. Pancras is somehow regarded as TfL, insomuch as Staff passes can be used at any time on this section. Thus has Overground status.
South Yorkshire PTE stopped producing maps at deregulation because “it [was] too difficult to keep up with all the changes”; production in the years since has been far more hit and miss than in the adjoining West Yorkshire, and the most recent maps were produced by the varying bus partnerships rather than by the PTE. I think that the loss of maps, online or printed, is one of the greatest failings of the bus industry since deregulation.
That said, almost everyone under (and plenty over) the age of 50 nowadays has a smartphone which is equipped with Google Maps or whatever the iPhone equivalent is, and therefore public transport journey planning is (in theory) as simple as choosing origin, destination and time, and selecting public transport as the mode. However, recent personal experience with the Great British Travelling Public suggests that most nowadays much prefer to stand around whining that there’s nobody there to lead them by the hand and how dare they be expected to think? Such people won’t use maps any more than they will use timetables, and so in an era where online communication (i.e. whining on social media) is king I can see why operators and authorities don’t want to spend money on maps or timetables which will likely only be a source of more complaints from the twitterati.
Ipswich Buses produce, at least online, comprehensive and regularly updated maps: https://www.ipswichbuses.co.uk/maps/
However these do not show other operators’ (mostly First) services … they used to! IB have also taken over some out-of-town services and the maps of these don’t show other services – there are other buses in Colchester and Clacton!
The tube map is now an illogical mess. How can you add one train operator route and leave off all the others? As everyone says the map of choice for getting round London should be the London Connections map. But if you’re making a TUBE map, then keep it as a TUBE ONLY map. The TUBE map is essentially for tourists and people new to London to get around the centre when, for example arriving at a major rail terminus, and to aid newbies starting to learn to go further afield. I hated the addition of the tram. It was totally at odds with what the TUBE map is for and looks awful. The historic, iconic, legendary London Underground systems deserves a widely available simple map for the masses. Once you use it to get to Wimbledon and find a lovely big train station that’s when you start to graduate on to the rail lines (and you search for the appropriate map on your phone. This map now shows three different services at Wimbledon, rail, tube and tram yet misses out the dominant service at that station – the South Western route). Remove Thameslink and the tram from the tube map. Keep it simple and relevant.
Don’t go to London any more because of lack of bus maps. Rather go to the Newcastle or Edinburgh or any other city where they care about the passenger.
Two things should be done:
1 Claire Walters of Bus Users UK should coordinate a National Campaign with National Publicity to highlight this and shame the people who decide to cut this basic invaluable information. Along with printed timetables.
2 We should all write to Vernon Everitt, TfL’s Managing Director, Customers, Communications and Technology, cc’d to Sadiq Khan, to tell them of the inconvenience and lost custom it causes (emails please Roger)
Seasons Greetings All
Why do maps have to be printed? Why can’t they make a bus map app that they can change as frequently as the routes are changed?
If Thameslink can re-appear on that map as a useful short-cut link then why isn’t the Northern City Line re-instated as a similar option and also as a former LT “legacy” service? And regarding the latter category, why not show Aylesbury – Amersham service (and maybe to Marylebone) too.
TfL have just over complicated the Tube map. It ought to go back to what it was just a tube map and just show a rail logo for stations with a mainline rail link. A sperate mainline rail map could be produced to just cover greater London. This could show mainle stations with links to the Underground
If I were a map designer/publisher I would approach each London borough and offer to produce a map of their area showing all public transport services, whether TfL or not, and whether rail or road, with selected cross-boundary information, similar to the former GM borough maps. I think LT used to do them for individual outer boroughs or areas (Edgware and Hackney spring to mind). Exclusions would be railway or express coaches making only one stop in the borough – or would they? (Think National Express at Golders Green, or railways between East Croydon and Gatwick/Brighton.) Any self-respecting Borough should be glad to sponsor this service for its residents.
In the meantime I cling to my trusty TfL quadrant maps, West Midlands borough maps, GM borough maps, and WY area maps.
It Is indeed very fortunate that, as already mentioned, Mike Harris still produces his wonderful bus map, both printed and on line, for a ridiculously cheap price. Whilst the printed one is rather small for some people to read, the on line one can be enlarged more than enough for anyone to find easily readable. Whilst Mike would probably not want to produce editions any more frequently than at present, I would have thought it would be economically justified for TfL to purchase large numbers from him to make available (even if they charge for them) and to at least advertise the on line availability, which at the moment is mainly only known about by enthusiasts.
Regarding the Spider Maps, that for Richmond has been absent for some time. Whilst I am not a fan of the spider concept, you have to remember that they also replaced the guides on bus stops as to where to board your bus, In Richmond this is far more complicated than you might expect, not helped by two different terminals (three if you were to distinguish Sainsburys from Homebase) in Manor Road and in Lower Mortlake Road, both appearing on blinds as Manor Circus. The last time I was in Richmond, I forgot that despite setting down there, the 190 and (as was) 391 no longer picked up in the Bus Station, instead running out of service to pick up in George Street. Of course there is no publicity of any description at the Bus Station telling you that, and no Spider Map to consult.
The spider maps used to be so much more useful, but they really have gone downhill.
Looking at the map for Croydon, it misses the 64 to the south off completely, just showing the short section between Croydon and Thornton Heath, and doesn’t make it at all clear that both the 412 and 433 go to Selsdon (as the 64 would as well if they bothered to show it) albeit by different routes. (I’m less fussed about the 412 not meeting other routes in Purley as you wouldn’t catch the 412 to travel between Croydon and Purley).
But what about the maps that aren’t there? They’ve got a map for Addington Hills, for heaven’s sake, but not one for Addington Village which would be a much more useful one to include. No map for Selsdon either. A map for Purley Oaks and for Woodcote Green and even bloody Kenley with its two routes but not for Purley which is a significant hub and local centre. It’s a total farce.
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Roger, you are of course too modest to mention the example of Brighton & Hove, where the timetable and leaflet maps continue to be a model of clarity. Not as big as London. of course, but an example of what can be done. Now the tables are in 24 hour format even Barry Doe is happy!
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London moved to new Tier 4 and Locked down. No travel in or out of London except for a few specific purposes
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Will 2021 see the demise of the printed ‘Tube’ map? I can see the justification now along the lines of ‘our survey says only % of users refer to a printed map….journey planner, TfL app etc’. Not forgetting the standard and questionable ‘saving the planet’ and ‘reducing our carbon footprint.’ It’d probably save a few quid too.
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I think it is appalling that the bus maps are no longer printed. They always used to be available at all tube stations, which were of course always manned, so many more were printed. This would have been before 1970. More recently they were only issued by a dwindling number of travel offices and bus stations.. I think I saw them at Kingston last. The travel offices kept them out of sight like many TICs keep bus timetables out of sight [ think Eastbourne]. Waterloo mainline station at least used to keep the Central London map but not the others.
But indeed many people did not know they existed – I met a German by chance who was living in London about 2016, had never heard of them and was keen to use them.
As for map reading skills they should be taught in schools as they were in my time. The Army is having to teach it to new recruits in case internet maps like Google are blocked by an enemy
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I’m a defender of TfL generally but not having any form of area wide bus map even online is indefensible. Totally. As for the Tube Map trying to square the circle of what to put in and what to leave out has surely become impossible. There needs to be a London Rail Map and that’s it.