Thames gets reprieve on London's tube map

Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:09am EDT
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By Neil Maidment

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The River Thames is to be reinstated on London's iconic tube map after a new design which left it out was greeted by a wave of outrage.

Designers had airbrushed out the blue ribbon representing the river in an attempt to de-clutter the map, first produced by draftsman Harry Beck in 1933.

But Transport for London (TfL), which operates the capital's transport networks, had reckoned without Londoners' deep affection for their local waterway.

As news of the revamp leaked out, it was inundated with complaints, both from the general public and from Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

"Can't believe that the Thames disappeared off the tube map whilst I was out the country! It will be reinstated," Johnson said on an official Mayor of London Twitter feed after returning from New York on Wednesday.

Action was swift.

"Transport for London (TfL) today announced that it has listened to Londoners and would be reinstating the River Thames on the world-famous Tube map," a statement read on Thursday.

Johnson's dismay at the change may have been partly due to the fact that he plans to make the river a more prominent part of London's transport system.   Continued...

<p>A general view of London Bridge overlooking the River Thames is seen ahead of the G20 summit in London, April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Adam Oliver</p>