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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Walkers Tube Map

No, crisp giant Walkers haven't decided to sponsor the Tube Map, but a group of postgraduate students from Central St Martin's College of Art have put together a map for zone 1 which shows the
walking distances between London Underground Stations. It's a pretty impressive project which they only had a week to put together and they managed to meet their aim of "creating a buzz about a topic to affect positive change."

Detail from students' map - click to enlarge


Tube map "fans" may remember that in 2003 rodcorp put together a map of the entire network, which showed when it would probably be quicker to walk rather than take the Tube and there's obviously comparisons to be made.

Detail from rodcorp's map - click to enlarge

The students hope that their project will cut overcrowding on the Tube and encourage more people to switch to a healthy & environmentally friendly transport alternative - ie walking. Whereas Rodcorp's map points out that in a number of cases it's simply quicker to walk and he sees it as "an interesting exercise".

Students Walking Tube Map - London Lite - 26th Feb 2007Rodcorp's map (which was mentioned on BBC London News) is based on station to station distances, whereas the students spent one week walking between Tube stations and noting how long it took.

Sara Palocios said "It was a very hectic week and we were really tired by the end of it." She admits that some timings may challenge slower walkers and says they were calculated on a "moderate speed". "For example I walked between High Street Ken and Notting Hill Gate in 12 minutes at quite a fast rate. It's not a relaxing walk but as if you were in a bit of a hurry".

The students were featured in London Lite and The Evening Standard yesterday and have been handing out the maps at Holborn Tube. According the papers they now plan to patent the map after making some changes to deal with copyright issues.

Coincidentally, coming home last night I noticed that Flora are running a campaign on the side of buses with the message "Could you walk it quicker?".

Picture taken by Blech

Apparently they are on taxis too. But I wonder if the Tube would ever be brave enough to carry this type of advertising wrapped around a whole train?

There are a number of posters in carriages encouraging people to walk between Leicester Square & Covent Garden mainly to ease congestion rather than for speed or health reasons though. Perhaps if Rodcorp's and the students maps become more popular, we may find TfL endorsing the maps in some way or even creating official versions. Although I'm sure there'd be various legal riders on the map about when the walking was carried out and no end of argument about how fast an average walker walks.


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