Posts

TfL have just released detailed figures for journeys traveled by the London Underground rolling stock. The data throws up some amazing facts and figures, including how far Tube trains travel each day.

Amazingly the Central line tube trains cover a distance of 8100 miles, equating to a journey from London and Australia. I’m not sure if I fancy being stuck on the Central Line to Sydney, Notting Hill Gate to Oxford Circus is bad enough.

The Data visualisation specialists “Spatial Analysis‘ examined the information from TfL and mapped the distances that you could travel. Even the shortest distance covered by the tube (Waterloo Line) would be enough to get you to Dublin. Seeing the data laid out like this, gives you a real sense of the massive task TfL undertakes everyday.

I was surprised to find out that the Northern Line gets that much usage every day. What’s more surprising is once you read the report fully you realise that the data only covers peak time travel!

You can click on the image above to see a full visualisation of the distances travelled by the tube each day.

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”.

rihannapopstar@me.com

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

Google has recently added directional support for the London Underground network. You can now get public transport directions for London within Google Maps.

One of Europe’s largest metropolitan areas, London is a major destination for both business travelers and tourists. More than 1 billion passengers are serviced by Transport for London (TfL) every year across over 18,000 bus stops and over 250 Underground stations.

Let’s say you’re at Trafalgar Square, and you want to visit Madame Tussauds. With a simple directions search, you’ll see all the possible public transport connections. In Maps, click “Get directions” in the left-hand panel, and then the train icon to see public transport directions. Enter your departure location next to A, and your destination next to B. These can be either street addresses or names of popular places, businesses or restaurants. When you’re done, click the “Get directions” button and suggestions for your trip will appear below.

Public transport directions are available on both Google Maps and Google Maps for mobile, so you always have access to a trip planner. When you’re on mobile, Maps even uses your current location to determine the best trip to your destination. Just search for your destination location, select it on the map and choose the “Directions” option. The suggested trips will be based on your location by default, and provide you multiple alternatives whenever possible.

Of course Metazone.co.uk has offered this service for years! and we will continue to offer a hassle free way to navigate the London Underground.

London Underground (LU) is pushing ahead with plans to set up a wi-fi internet network at 120 Tube stations – despite several security concerns. Following a trial at Charing Cross Tube Station, LU is inviting companies to tender for a network-wide contract. It could be operational by 2012.

But a security expert warned wi-fi could make it easier for fraudsters or terrorists to target Tube passengers. LU denied the wi-fi system would increase risk to the Tube.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The roll out will finally allow Londoners to use mobile devices to pick up their e-mails and stay in touch with the world while they traverse our subterranean network.

“We are inviting companies to bid before next June, which would mean Londoners underground will be able to keep up to date with the British medal tally at the 2012 Games.”

English Heritage added new 16 Tube stations to the 56 other stations already on the Listed Buildings register. Each is important in their own way, as three experts on the Tube’s history and heritage, some of the stations included might raise an eyebrow for two:

Brent Cross
Distinguishing features: Boasts double Doric columns on its facade, a telltale sign of architect Stanley Heap’s work. Named Brent until the opening of the nearby shopping centre in 1976.

Expert’s view: “A neat little Grecian building. Heaps gave things a classical style here. Its well mannered – it must have been an eye-opener in its day. It was really about taking civic architecture to the suburbs.”

Mike Ashworth, design and heritage manager, London Underground

Caledonian Road
Distinguishing features: Leslie Green’s Caledonian Road uses lifts to transport passengers straight to platform level. It is truly step-free.

Expert’s view: “All Green’s stations were floodlit at night to enhance the prominence of the new public transport system. The platforms are one of the few pairs with the original coloured, patterned tiling virtually intact. All 46 Green stations had a different tile pattern, said to aid recognition by regular passengers.”

Mike Horne, Tube writer and former TFL employee

Hendon Central

Distinguishing features: This 1924 station by Stanley Heaps was intended to kickstart the development of the area and is integrated into the shops either side of it.

Expert’s view: “Many of these stations show that good design is as much about function as it is about form. Subconsciously the average commuter probably enjoys the Doric columns – but consciously they definitely appreciate that the station’s wide entrance takes them quickly out on to four key roads as well.”

Gareth Edwards, London Reconnections blog

Chesham

Distinguishing features: The farthest station from Central London. It feels more like a rural halt – hence the water tower, signal box and gable station entrance.

Expert’s view: “The thing that amazes me is you half expect the village doctor to be outside on his horse. It’s so marvellous that we have these outlying rural services on the Underground. Our customers like that heritage. It’s part of the feeling of that market town and it means a lot to the people of Chesham.”

Mike Ashworth

Covent Garden

Distinguishing features: Another Leslie Green station, opened in 1906. A concrete block was added on top in the 1960s.

Expert’s view: “Green was the architect brought in to design all 46 stations for the new London Tube lines, opened in 1906-07. The scale of the job meant that the stations were all designed to a similar formula. The generic design relied on putting a distinctive cladding around a then-novel, steel-framed structure which allowed commercial premises to be built above.”

Mike Horne

You can see the full list here