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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tube Toilet & Step Free Tube Maps Launched

The London Underground have launched two maps that will show you where to spend a penny and where you won't have to climb stairs when using the Tube.

The Tube Toilet map shows which stations have male, female and accessible toilets for wheelchair users, whether they are inside or outside the ticket gates, and whether they have baby changing facilities.

The Step-free Tube Guide gives information about the step and gap between the train and platform at step-free stations, and gives information about the stations where you can change between lines without encountering steps or escalators.

This guide will also help passengers with heavy luggage or those with children's buggies." said TfL on their site.

These are great moves forward with the map and very much like the idea explored with AccessCity. Still at beta stage it was one of the finalists in Social Innovation Camp (which I've actually been trying to get in front of the powers that be at TfL and Tube Lines).

Thanks to Kevin from Travolution for giving me the heads up on the new maps.

The current Tube map has wheelchair symbols showing step free access stations, but the new accessibility guide has a map with:
  • Green, amber or red symbols on step-free access stations showing the height of the step between the platform and the train, coupled with a coloured ruler on the side of the map so that people can visualise how high the step is

  • Information about the width of the gap between platform and train and different symbols to show stations which are step-free when changing between lines, but where it's not possible to get in or out of the station without using stairs or an escalator
When looking at the map, it was surprising (for me anyway) to see how little of the London Underground was actually step free.

What's also interesting is that people on the net have been playing about with maps like the above for years, and yet TfL have only just got round to officially producing them (better late than never).

Toilets on the London Underground

Geoff produced an unoffical map with toilets on it in 2007 (admittedly to help those doing all day Tube challenges) and Last Rounds Project has an interactive map showing which Tube stations have public toilets near them.

Hopefully, TfL will have less of a "down with this sort of thing" approach to unofficial maps and look on them as ideas which the public might actually find useful. They (sort of) gave us that impression at the blogger's briefing last year.

Are there any other versions of the Tube map you would like to see? If you had design freedom & the sky was the limit, what would you find useful on the London Underground map?

I really think that the Way Out Tube map, which shows you where to get on to get off (so to speak) should be a free map. It's helped me shave several minutes off my journey and when you're in a rush every minute counts.

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, January 27, 2009 Permalink COMMENT HERE