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UK Politics

Put the Thames back, Mayor tells Tube bosses

Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered the River Thames to be reinstated on the London Underground map.

The historic landmark dividing north and south London was removed from the new version by transport bosses who deemed it too cluttered.

Mr Johnson was said to be "furious" after learning about the design change on his return from a trip to New York.

The redesign of the famous Tube map also leaves out the zones which show how much passengers will pay for journeys, and the grid system for finding stations.

Sources suggested the move was met with "a howl of derision" by Mr Johnson and he spoke to Transport for London to make his feelings known.

A spokesman for the mayor's office said: "The mayor has ordered the river to be reinstated as soon as possible without Transport for London incurring additional costs.

"Transport for London revises its map every few months. The next change is in December and the map will be revised at that point."

Transport for London confirmed the new design would change again at the end of the year after listening to Londoners.

A TfL spokesman said: "The overwhelming public reaction is that the Tube and Thames should be reunited, so that's exactly what we will do.

"New maps showing the Thames will be reintroduced from December, the date of the next scheduled revision of the map.

"We are also looking again at the provision of zonal information to ensure that it is widely available to customers and aim to reach a conclusion on that, also by December, when the new Circle Line service needs to be reflected.

"Over the next few months, we will also see what more can be done to respond to the feedback that we have been receiving on the map becoming too cluttered to be useful."

Draughtsman Harry Beck based his original Tube map design, including a stylised River Thames, on an electrical circuit.

The map was first handed out to commuters in 1933.

Passengers had complained that the existing geographical map was too crowded, confusing and hard to read.

The design has since inspired maps for underground networks from New York to Sydney.