London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

London Underground Map

20/01/2001, By Richard, 7th Earl of Bradford

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 19963 votes


We thought that it would a good idea to show visitors a map of the London Underground (Tube) on Virtual London, to assist them in navigating the often-confusing complex of various lines and stations.

Amazingly London Underground refused us permission to publish the map, unless we paid them for it. Bearing in mind that the Tube is heavily subsidised by the tax payer, and that we would encourage travellers, by displaying the map, to use the Tube, we thought that paying anything (let alone the amount that they asked for, on an annual basis!) was totally unreasonable.

Our advice is therefore to use the excellent bus London service. We think that it is safer and far more enjoyable to view the wonderful architecture of London from street level, rather than sharing the deep and dirty Tube tunnels with often surly and less than helpful staff. They also tend to come out on strike for almost any reason, as they did most recently on February 5th.

This last strike was supposed to be a 24 hour one, starting at 5.30 pm on the Sunday, but it actually ruined two days for businesses, their staff, customers and visitors. Because, on the Monday evening, if you had arrived at a Tube station, you would have found a notice stating that 'The Strike finished at 5.30 pm, however, as the next drivers' shift does not start until 10 pm, there will be no trains until 5.30 am tomorrow.'

This really pleased all the Porters staff, who were merely trying to get home by the only feasible means at the end of one of our quietest day's trading ever - thanks to the strike, which ruined both Sunday and Monday for us.

By the way, London Underground managers have recently changed the staff uniform, but we wonder how much smart new clothes will actually assist in the smooth running of the trains, maybe brand new rolling stock, or escalators that work all of the time would have been a better idea!

Oops, we nearly forgot to tell you about the infestation of rodents and mosquitoes that the network suffers from!

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Re: London Underground Map

By Kathleen Zucati 27/01/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 18463 votes)

My mother called me (bear in mind I'm middle-aged and don't really feel I need this help) last night and told me she'd seen a TV show that said the London "tubes" are one of the most dangerous places on earth, that there are "fake" taxi drivers all over London who will take you out in the countryside and rob and kill you, that many on-line booking services are "fake" and when you arrive you don't have reservations, not to book shows ahead of time because of the fraud, but to pick up tickets the day of the show at the box office (her TV show said there will always be tickets available, not true in Seattle, why should that be true in London?) - anyway, she's got me totally freaked out (a 1970s American expression meaning extremely upset) - I booked most things through links from your site, but how on earth can I check everything from here? I guess I need to get busy and look up all my reservations and try to get an address for each one and write some letters but if the addresses are fake, fraudulent, etc., we won't know until we arrive and find out, will we?

This is ridiculous.

At least I know now to watch out for those "tubes!"

<b>Editor: What a shame that your mother decided to 'help'.</b>

Do so enjoy your London Lantern, wish my mother would watch some nice, easy-going sit-coms and leave the worrying alone.

Thanks for letting me write.
Kathleen Zucati
(we've e-mailed befoe)

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London Underground

By Valerie Atkinson Brown 02/09/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 18286 votes)

Recently I heard on the radio or read it somewhere...I can't remember...but that Elton John would ride on the Circle Line and get his inspiration there. I've loved his music since high school. As a radio buff,
I would just listen to his songs and find all kinds of inspiration, espeically when his song came out..."Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" I thought that was so cool that he found some of his inspiration on the Circle Line.

signed, obsessed fan of London
Valerie Atkinson Brown

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Re: London Underground Map

By Chris Becht 18/09/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 18305 votes)

Ain't American TV journalists wonderful.

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Re: London Underground Map

By Valerie Atkinson Brown 01/12/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 18367 votes)

This sounds like Mexico City, not London. I've never had any problems on the tube or with taxi drivers. The taxi drivers are trained professionals who know the city and are courteous.

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Re: London Underground Map

By Rachel 31/10/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 18035 votes)

That's true that the "official" (black cab) taxi drivers are rated among the best in the world ... but there are some people who are allowed to work as a cab driver in London by using their own car etc. I guess these are the "fake" drivers-and yes, they do indeed exist ... but everyone should know to use the Black cab anyway.

If you don't want to be taken advantage of (as far as tickets etc.) One word : Research. Look for links on websites you know you can trust (like the official UK tourism site-or this one, or popular ones like Rick Steves) Don't get over worried. Just do some checking around on the internet. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. (For example, one site was selling theater tickets for a show for 25. On 5 other sites the same tickets went for 40-60. So I knew 25 couldn't be right)

As far as the Tube, SHAME ON YOU EARL OF BRADFORD! I can understand your frustration, but as you said, this is a tourism site. No, we don't want you to sugar coat anything (say something is good when it is not) but your sentiments on the tube were a little too disturbing.

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