A report on improving accessibility on London’s Transport services has called for the fully accessible Thameslink line to be on the Tube map as a matter of some urgency.

Although part of the Thameslink line through central London used to appear on the tube map, since mid-1999 the tube map only shows services that TfL operates — which while generally called a tube map, also includes the Overground, Tram, Dangleway, although they recently added river services.

The report on accessibility in London was carried out by the London Assembly’s Transport Committee and took evidence from a range of people who struggle to use public transport.

Of the number of recommendations, the Assembly set a deadline of August 2020 for TfL to add Thameslink to the tube map.

Much of the argument against including Thameslink in the past was due to the less-than-tube frequency of the trains, but now it matches, and even at times, exceeds tube frequency with 24 trains per hour at peak times, and making it more obvious that, for example, there’s an alternative to the Northern line between London Bridge and King’s Cross could help reduce overcrowding on the tube.

That aside, the Assembly’s main argument is that the Thameslink upgrade project also made Thameslink fully step-free throughout central London, so adding it to the map makes accessible travel options more obvious to casual travellers.

Based on October 1997 tube map

TfL is also being asked to improve it’s existing real-time information to include step-free availability at stations, such as if lifts are out of order, or there’s a staff shortage affecting the availability of loading ramps onto trains.

It’s not entirely bad news, TfL report that 95 percent of bus stops are now accessible to wheelchair users, and the DLR and Trams are both fully step-free accessible. There are now around 200 step-free stations across London’s transport network, although most are Overground and TfL Rail stations — less than a third of tube stations are step-free.

Plans to upgrade 11 stations on the tube have however been pushed back to later this year, and that was before the likely impact of the Coronavirus on engineering works.

The various providers of public transport are also being asked to work closer together to coordinate upgrades to the network to ensure accessibility is offered throughout stations.

That’s not just physical accessibility, but often less obvious issues such as legibility of signs, calm spaces, and tactile surfaces. And of course toilets – which the report says are still chargeable at 26 tube stations. The Assembly wants these to be free of charge.

However, as necessary as all those things are, it’ll be the arrival of the Thameslink on the tube map that’ll get the headlines.

The full report is here.


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Article last updated: 25 May 2020 15:52


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  1. Of course, today it’s not just the Thameslink core that would need to go on (as per the diagram) but also:

    – West Hampstead Thameslink (Jubilee, Overground)
    – Denmark Hill (Overground)
    – Norwood Junction (Overground)
    – Greenwich (DLR) and so Deptford Thameslink

    It’s going to make the Farringdon/Barbican Crossrail interchanges quite … compelx

  2. Melvyn says:

    As well as the main Thameslink route the Great Northern route from Moorgate which used to be a branch of the Northern line needs to be added with its cross platform interchange at Highbury and Islington to the Victoria Line and connection to Crossrail/ Elizabeth Line at Moorgate.

    A request to make the Northern Line at Kentish Town was turned down on cost grounds . However, the station also has open air Thameslink platforms which could be made step free at far less cost and link into central London accessible stations !

    The problems with rail franchises is likely to see some of these services especially those from Moorgate transferred to TFL which would put them onto the standard tube map.

    When the Elizabeth Line does open Farringdon Station will have a single interchange covering over 100 stations .

  3. James Miller says:

    More than putting Thameslink on the map is needed. I was at one Thameslink station and needed to look at the combined Tube and Rail map to check my route. I was told by a member of staff, that Thameslink don’t put up Tube maps, as that is TfL’s business.

    It’s also difficult to find local bus information in a Thameslink station.

  4. David Winter says:

    And the Gt Northern & City also needs restoring to the map.

  5. Laura says:

    Yes but if you switch from Tfl to Thameslink you are charged extra and it’s not tuppence. This is what needs to get fixed if it goes on a map.

  6. Paul Donnelly says:

    My preferred Solution is a Parisian style Poche, the only replicated on Station Platform and in Ticket Halls.

    The London Underground, z Overground ( Colour Coded ) a Crossrail and Thameslink Maps separate along with a local Bus Connection Map for Connections within 1200m but with the Primary Map taking precedence and including Orange for Overground and Purple for Crossrail and Pink for Thameslink

  7. Colin Newman says:

    Ooh look – an existing map by TfL that includes all rail lines and isn’t unwieldy size wise. http://content.tfl.gov.uk/version-i-central-rail-tube-dec-2017.pdf

    Needs updating, perhaps, and I think they could squeeze a bit more on to the A4 form-factor.

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