Bajan Superstar Rihanna surprised Tube travellers in London by catching the Jubilee Line to her sold-out concerts at the O2 Arena.

Rihanna chatted with fans and posed for pictures in a crowded carriage, telling one that she didn’t know “how you guys do it”, according to the Evening Standard.

Adrienne Amado, from St John’s Wood, told Nick Ferrari on LBC that Rihanna, who was accompanied by a posse of minders, was offered a seat from Green Park but declined. Wearing a relatively modest white top for her journey to the Arena, Rihanna left the packed Tube train at North Greenwich station,

A spokeswoman for the singer said: “Rihanna decided to get the Tube rather than drive to the first of her 10 sold-out 02 shows”.

London Underground Tube drivers are set to see their pay increase by 5%. In a deal negotiated by the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and London Underground, Tube drivers can expect to see their average pay rise from £46,000 to over £50,000.

The Four-year deal gives London Underground staff a 5% rise in the 1st year, followed by the headline inflation rate +0.5% in the following 3 years. It is estimated that the deal may be worth £10,000 to many workers.

In light of the current economic climate the deal is seen as a victory for union bosses and staff. Union leader Bob Crow said his members might not find a better offer in the public sector.

Industry insiders are claiming the deal was sweetened to ensure tube drivers did not strike during the 2012 Olympic Games. However, the RMT union reiterated that the pay deal as separate from the negotiations on staff pay during the Olympics. It is estimated that London Tube staff will receive a bonus payment of £500 for working during the London 2012 games.

The National Lottery is giving you the chance to win London 2021 Olympic Tickets or a cash prize worth £10,000 with it’s new Scratch Card ‘Win Gold’. Simply visit the National Lottery website, select 4 events from each row. Reveal three gold medals in any row to win the prize for that row, or reveal a ‘WORLD RECORD’ symbol to automatically win the prize for that row.

The Scratch Card game costs £1 per go, There is a 1 in 3.45 overall chance of winning a Prize on each Play of the Game. The Expected Prize Payout Percentage for this game is 66.00%. However the odds for winning the pair of Olympic Tickets is about 1/5000! Overall there are about 1700 tickets available to be won.

Don’t worry you can still listen to Metallica on your iPod whilst traveling on the tube, the ban relates to a poster for the bands recent collaboration with Lou Reed.

TFL ruled the poster could not be displayed on the Underground network as it ‘looks too much like graffiti’ The album cover features a limbless mannequin with a realistic expression on a photograph and the album name ‘Lulu’ written across it.

Lou Reed complained about TfL’s stand, asking: “What would Andy Warhol or Jean Michel Basquiat say of this type of frivolous censorship?”

This is not the first time a poster has been banned on the Underground, in 2010 a digital poster for the London Dungeon was banned by the ASA. Merlin Entertainments, which runs the London Dungeon, said that in order to “avoid causing fear and distress” it had followed London Underground’s guidelines in “avoiding flames and excessive, dripping or running blood”.

TFL seem happy for the London Dungeon poster to be displayed at Tube Stations but the ASA pulled it following a number of complaints from the general public.

Strangely London isn’t particularly well served by Racecourses, the nearest course to central London is Kempton Park. The Christmas meeting at Kempton is undoubtedly the highlight of the racing calendar in London. The big race is the King George Chase, with past winners of the King George including the legendary Desert Orchid, four time winner and forever immortalised at the course with a statue beside the paddock.

Other racecourses near central London include the world famous Ascot racecourse, Sandown Park and Epsom Downs. All these horse racing venues are within easy traveling distance from London by rail or car. Windsor races is also on the outskirts or the Greater London area. Set in 165 acres of beautiful Berkshire countryside and located on the banks of the River Thames, Windsor is best known for its lively summer evening fixtures.

If you are willing to travel just 60 miles outside the capital you can visit the home of British Horse Racing at the fabulous Newmarket racecourse. Regular commuter services run from London Kings Cross and Liverpool Street to Cambridge, Stansted Airport and Ipswich where onward connections by rail or road can be made to Newmarket.

In 1998 plans were drawn up for a new all weather racecourse in East London, the course was to be named ‘London City Racecourse’ after much legal wrangling the plans for the new course have been withdrawn. In light of the reduction in the number of horse races in the UK it is unlikely that London will get a new racecourse anytime soon.

Special thanks to Horse Racing Photo for the free image!

Disused stations from the London Underground transit system could be transformed into new tourist attractions if proposals are given the go-ahead.

Former banker Ajit Chambers has announced intentions to give the old sights a makeover as part of a newly introduced leasing deal to create bars and restaurants.

As part of a joint venture with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Mr Chambers is currently in talks with Mayor Boris Johnson to support the plans across the transit network.

The transformations would see Brompton Road station, which is owned by the MoD, rejuvenated with a rooftop restaurant and climbing wall.

Mr Chambers said: “We would like to have a rooftop restaurant, have a tourist attraction and the deep drop shafts for climbing walls.

“Imagine the history and the historic meetings that went on here.”

Transport bosses in London are accused of not publishing monthly figures on Tube delays as a signal failure caused problems for commuters on one of the system’s busiest lines.
Labour said Transport for London had published the figures since 2003 but claimed they had “mysteriously disappeared” for the last four months.

London Assembly member Val Shawcross said it was time for “urgent answers” from Mayor Boris Johnson, adding: “If the Government stopped publishing monthly unemployment figures or Metropolitan police refused to publish the monthly crime statistics there would be an outcry.

“It would be completely unacceptable if after months of delays and disruption on the Tube the Mayor has decided to hide the figures.”

Travellers on the Victoria Line suffered disruption on Tuesday because of a signal failure at Seven Sisters, while First Capital Connect services into London were hit by a train failure at Farringdon.

Click to view the latest tube delays.

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The latest art commission by ‘Art on the Underground’ for the front cover of the Pocket Tube Map, is now available from Tube stations. The work is a tracing of the artist’s own hand in pencil; the creases and lines of the hand are represented by lines drawn in the various colours of the Tube map. In this way, Landy makes a direct relationship between ‘the artist’s hand’ and the Pocket Tube Map. We can read his palm and see how his personal journeys have left their mark there. Reproduced as a pocket artwork for millions of Tube travellers to hold in the palm of their own hands, the work has a humorous yet uncanny quality.

Head of Art on the Underground, Tamsin Dillon, said: “I like the way that Landy brings us back to the physical workings of the Tube Map. His reference to the way that people write on their hands as an aid memoire is very much in contrast to current handheld technology – like GPS and Google Maps. We like to provide travel information to passengers in as many different formats as possible. The Pocket Tube Map is a traditional, ‘hands-on’ guide, which is still a great way to get around the London Underground system.”

Platform 9¾ is in Kings Cross Station and features in the famous Harry Potter books and films. The books have become some of the best selling children’s books ever written. The adventures of 11 year old Harry have captivated children across the world and resulted in seven Harry books and eight blockbuster films.

Harry, who has inherited magical powers from his dead parents is sent to school at Hogwarts, a boarding school for Wizards. Several London locations were used during the filming of the Harry stories, including London Zoo where Harry discovers his ability to talk to snakes.

Kings Cross Station is the location used for the Hogwarts Express to begin it’s long journey to Hogwarts School. This pseudo-fictonal location was filmed at Platform 4 of the central London railway station. Originally built as the Great Northern Railway’s London terminus in 1851/2, the Hogwarts Express steam train leaves from Platform 9 3/4 on it’s journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. To visit the Platform take any train, bus or tube to Kings Cross station.

Author JK Rowling admitted in a BBC interview in 2001 confusing Kings Cross with Euston Station when writing the book. “I wrote Platform 9¾ when I was living in Manchester, and I wrongly visualised the platforms, and I was actually thinking of Euston, so anyone who’s actually been to the real platforms 9 and 10 in King’s Cross will realise they don’t bear a great resemblance to the platforms 9 and 10 as described in the book.”

The real platforms 9 and 10 are in separate buildings to the main station and as they are adjacent to each other there could’nt be a magical brick wall to travel through. During filming, to overcome the brick wall problem, platforms 4 and 5 were renumbered making it easier to create Platform 9 3/4. As Kings Cross Station is not the most exciting building, the film crew used the nearby St Pancras Station, well known for it’s wonderful Victorian architecture, for external shots of the train station.

Recently Kings Cross Station has been undergoing a massive amount of construction which has meant the location of Platform 9¾ has moved from time to time. The station staff are used to excited Harry fans searching for Platform 9 and have been praised for being friendly and helpful.

Since 2011 you can get a photo of yourself with a trolley embedded into the station wall and a sign above which reads Platform 9¾. To see the new exhibit, go to platform 1 (one), turn right and exit the station. To your right you will see a dedicated area which houses the new trolley, with a specially built canopy where you can take photographs. It’s a magical way to entertain the kids for free!

A brand new Geographical London Tube Map has been designed. The new map is the work of Mark Noad and he has posted the map online and plans to launch an iPhone app in the coming days. We think the map is genius! It greatly improves on the original tube map.

You can view the new map in all it’s glory at Mark’s website You can also download a large PDF version of the map.

Mark Noad added ‘There are twice as many lines with London Overground and the DLR. When Beck was drawing up his map, the Circle line was the focus but that has now moved away and you have places such as Canary Wharf. This is not intended as a replacement to the official version – it is simply another way to look at it.’

The original London Underground diagram, designed by Harry Beck is one of the greatest designs of the twentieth century. He rationalised and clarified a complex system to produce a simple, easy to follow piece of information graphics. The principles he established for the diagram are still in use today.

However, in 1931 when it was first used, there were only seven lines so the compromises Beck made on geographical accuracy did not matter greatly. Today, with the constant development of the diagram now accommodating twice as many lines, these inaccuracies are more of a problem. Indeed, they form the basis for a major criticism of the diagram, that it bears little or no relation to London at street level.
This is particularly the case with newer lines especially London Overground which has been shoe-horned in leaving stations nowhere near their neighbours, for example: Watford and Watford Junction; Archway and Upper Holloway; Seven Sisters and South Tottenham; South Acton and Chiswick Park.

The map illustrated here is an attempt to see if it is possible to create a geographically-accurate representation of the underground system while still retaining some of the clarity of Beck’s original diagram.

The BBC is reporting that Tottenham Hotspurs opening game of the season against Everton has been called off due to the recent Riots in London. Civil unrest in and around Tottenham began last weekend and quickly spread to other areas of the capital and major cities across England.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said he was “positive” the other nine games in the opening round of top-flight fixtures would go ahead.

“The very latest situation is that Tottenham and Everton has gone.

“The police have done a fantastic job, but it’s been a crime scene all week and the council have not had enough time to do what they need.

“The other nine fixtures are looking positive, subject to any more trouble. The Tottenham game is a real shame but we support the police in what they are doing.

West Ham and Charlton postponed Tuesday’s Carling Cup matches against Aldershot and Reading at the request of police, while this weekend Blue Square Premier match between Telford and Luton has also been called off.

London organisers have sealed a deal with Dow Chemical Company to restore an innovative wraparound curtain to encircle the Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games.

Olympic officials had scrapped the wrap late last year because its price tag of £7 million had been deemed too expensive at a time of economic austerity. Architects and artists had decried the decision, suggesting the look and image of the games would suffer.

But now, the wrap is back. Dow Chemical, the Midland, Michigan conglomerate, won a bid process to take on the visual centerpiece of the Olympics. The move comes even though Dow, the official ‘Chemistry Company’ of the Games, will be barred by Olympics guidelines from etching the firm’s logo onto the curtain.

‘This wrap will embrace the look of the games,’ said Keith Wiggins, managing director of Dow’s operations in Britain. ‘This is going to be a super, central, visual centerpiece.