Mayor Orders The Return Of The Thames

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 103 months ago
Mayor Orders The Return Of The Thames

1709_river.jpg Back in Blighty after his New York jaunt, Boris Johnson has wasted no time in wading into the week's hot topic — the unpopular changes to the Underground map. A "furious" Boris has ordered TfL to reinstate the river and zone boundary markers, which were removed from revised maps that hit the network this week. New maps with the river, which has flowed across the design since Harry Beck first drew the thing, will reappear at the next planned revision in December, so you've got at least two months of trying to convince perplexed tourists that Charing Cross really is on the South Bank. TfL say they hope to "reach a conclusion" by then on bringing back the zonal markers. The suspicious among us might think this was a mojo-reviving stunt by the Mayor: he dashes off to NYC for a few days, and gets to come back and have a pop at what these bounders have done to his beloved Underground. For a man who firmly believes that travel by two wheels is better, he's taking this pretty personally.

Last Updated 17 September 2009


Good, looks a bit odd with no Thames or Zones that we all know and sort of love (except the cost to travelling from one to another!).

The next revised issue is December which will, according to TfL, will have the new revised non-circle, circle line on it. that is of course if the Circle line stays or being combined with the H&C? The name gets lost and just the H&C name remains.

Now what other lines will TfL chop to save money?

How about....

Cut the Met line back to Baker Street (duplication of lines with H&C etc).

Cut the current H&C back as it'll continue round to Edgware road. the bit past Liverpool Street is duplicated with the District line anyway.

Anyone else got an idea on what to chop? (apart from Bob Crows head !!).


The question now springs to mind:

Are they (TfL) that stupid?

Or is he (BJ) that clever?


TfL get my vote on being stupid with the idea of combining the circle and H&C lines, not that the service will be better but the over crowding at Paddington platforms 15/16 will be horrendous, it is now with just the H&C lines and only one stairway, imagine with double the trains and double the passengers !!

Also - they seem to have forgotten, there is no disabled access to platforms 15/16 at Paddington. Wonder if they have heard of the DDA now in force on new builds or modifications??


off cue but on the point of BJ being clever. hmmm, I've met him and his brother Leo. Seems we have the wrong brother in power.


Surely Boris, as chair of TfL, has to take at least a little bit of the blame for this in the first place?


Quite. He's jumping on a populist bandwagon - via Twitter of all things. All style, no content.


I like to sit back at times like this and imagine that Boris, in that faux-confused manner of his, briefly thought that TfL had made the actual Thames disappear and just on the tube map.

Yes, TfL were probably a bit stupid in taking off the river and zone boundaries. However, having worked for TfL and seen up close how the machinery works, I am actually willing to believe that taking off the zones was an act of over-enthusiasm coupled with the belief that people either know where they the boundaries are (common sense seemed to often loss out when the more transport-obsessed people forgot that not everyone has an encyclopedic knowledge of the transport network) or can easily find out, ignoring the fact that people would probably rather have the zones on the map in their hand than have to check them on the map on the wall at the station. It may not have just been the cynical move that it appears to be at first glance.

But this is just one more open goal for Boris really, isn't it? Get rid of the articulated buses, ban booze on the tube (anyone noticed this have any effect whatsoever yet?), scrap the West London congestion zone extension, kick up a fuss about a design issue on the tube map. Once again he's doing just enough for people that don't pay much attention to what's going on to think that he's doing a good job.



Quite, to paraphrase, the purpose of the Boris is not to weald power, but to draw attention away from his inability to do so.

As for Paddington H&C - a lot of that congestion seems to come from crowded platforms due to infrequent trains, when the frequency doubles that will help. Not withstanding, expanding the access to that part of the station should be part of the redevelopment work.


As for reliability, that remains to be seen I think - there's a lot of concern from drivers on other forums that the edgeware road junctions can't handle the volume. We shall see.

I'm bracing myself for an il-informed twitter and facebook based 'save the circle line' campaign in a few months time, likely led by people who don't use it but feel its a heritage issue...


As for redeveloping the area of Paddington station for the H&C/Circle lines, yes it is in the pipeline, work starts in 2014 for 2 years, so that will be fun while work is in progress !!

The main congestion at Paddington is not really lack of trains, more that so many get off there when a tube arrives, it is a free for all to get up the stairs, preventing those from coming down to get said tube. Often this results in at least two TfL staff working at traffic police for those coming up and those attempting to get down. This will get worse, not due to more trains but the added 'bonus' of those getting on/off the Heathrow trains loaded with luggage using the same route.


I think Diamond Geezer has it right: