The new London Tube map is out, and overall it’s a big improvement on the most recent versions. There’s been a thorough decluttering, removing a lot of the fiddly, little used detail which usually gets added because someone says “But we must include…” and no-one replies “Putting more and more on a piece of paper doesn’t mean you get more and more over to its readers”.
Here are the old and new versions:
Aside from the improvements, the new map has three issues:
(a) a smattering of typos / inconsistencies
(b) the disabled access information is still stuck in the worst of both worlds – extremely intrusive on the map design and yet also very incomplete in terms of the information you may actually need
(c) the Thames is no more
Yes, you can whizz over or under the Thames by Tube or bus without having to know where it is, but it is still a useful frame of reference for the map – and without the Thames the map takes a step back in providing integrated transport information for it means it’s less useful in giving information about the Thames riverboat services. Instead of having the blue line of the Thames to mark their route, you have to hop from station icon to station icon to work out where the route goes.