Last week I blogged about the areas of London that are more than a mile from a station, and it turned into one of my three most popular posts ever. Most of this irresistible shareability was down to the map, or rather Geo_Rich's map, because that was super accurate and zoomable and everything a modern cartographical experience should be. Several other people thought so too, including four branded digital accumulation services who repackaged and rebroadcast the map along with some condensed commentary. Let's see how they did.
The online arm of Shortlist magazine were first off the mark, 24 hours later, with this condescending masterpiece of geographical ineptitude.
When temperatures rise above 20 degrees and you’re hurtling underground in a sweat-can staring into an armpit who hasn’t yet made a courtesy apology, it’s easy to be scathing about London’s transport. But walking a mile in someone else’s shoes could change the way you view your struggle. By which we mean, actually having to walk a mile to get to any kind of station.
According to this map, there are around 36 ‘dead zones’ in London in which residents have at least a twenty minute walk to then embark on their journey. The underlying theme is if you want to live somewhere green, you’ll need to adopt a new found patience and really love your job. Or get a car, but this is London.
Here are the ten worst places to live if you don’t want to spend 70 percent of your life commuting to work.
BURGESS PARK (WALWORTH): We hadn’t heard of it either. Probably because there’s no station until you cross the lines into Elephant and Castle. WOOLWICH COMMON: You’ll have to invest in a decent pair of trainers, but you could stroll down the fittingly mocking Ha-Ha Road. THAMESMEAD: Waterfront property with amazing views of the Thames and great schools, the estate agents will tell you. Affordable because you’ll live in total isolation. SHIRLEY: Bus drivers will become your best friends. They’ll take you to Croydon. HOUNSLOW HEATH: Planes will soon become your most convenient mode of transport. RICHMOND PARK: Your postcode will do nothing for you if you don’t have a car. LONDON ROAD (NORTH CHEAM): Despite the name, if you want to get into the city, you’ll need to leave at sparrow’s fart. LONGBRIDGE ROAD (BECONTREE): See you when you move house. BROMLEY: Technically you can say you live in London, but you’re basically in Surrey with a commute to match the fact. COLDFALL WOOD: Living by an ancient wood has its perks, until you get lost in it on the way to work.
If you want to totally eliminate the possibility of ever having to walk a mile to a station, your best bet is the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Lambeth, Islington, City of London, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham.
I shared this post with Geo_Rich, and we both shuddered at the ill-judged selective interpretation in the top ten list, especially the assumption that Bromley's basically in Surrey. Time Out were up next, and they did something none of the other three publishers did, they asked first. They also checked how we'd like to be referred to in the post, waited over the weekend before publishing, and then gave us a nudge by email when it was up.
While The Proclaimers might have been happy to walk 500 miles (and 500 more), we'd be pretty miffed if we had to walk more than one mile to get to our nearest station. Yes, we know walking is good for you, but sometimes you at least want the option to be lazy. Luckily, this handy map created by London blogger Diamond Geezer and Geo_rich shows all the places in London that are more than a mile from the nearest tube, rail, tramlink or DLR station, which is about a 20 minute walk.
Unsurprisingly, most of central London is pretty well connected but there is one blackspot in Southwark, although it's mostly within Burgess Park so we're guessing that doesn't bother too many people. But if you thought that living in Zones 1 and 2 meant you'd have loads of transport options on your doorstep, spare a thought for the folks living in Aylesbury Estate, which is the only spot in the whole of Zones 1/2 that's almost a mile from any station.
And if you've got a serious aversion to exercise, you'll be pleased to know that there are eight London boroughs where no point is more than a mile from a station - that's in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Lambeth, Islington, City of London, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham – if your boots aren't made for walking.
It might be possible to conclude from the penultimate paragraph that Time Out haven't reported on Walworth very often in the past. Nevertheless, their online clout spawned a lot more interest, including this slightly blokey take from Gizmodo. Don't these people love a long headline?
A map of London that shows areas more than one mile away from any sort of rail-based public transport station has been put together, showing that you're unlikely to have to walk very far to catch a train as long as you live in a bit that's on the EastEnders titles and aren't so lazy or wearing such inappropriate footwear that you think nearly one mile is far.
The map, complete with one-mile exclusion zone annotations has been put together by London blogger Diamond Geezer, and can be seen here. The Geezer says he's included all forms of not-a-bus public transport link whether that's tube stations, overground rail lines or the retrofuturist trams of the distant and mythical Croydon outpost, with the resulting map showing that London's really rather well connected indeed.
In fact, the only part of the central area that's not got a station within one mile is a bit of Burgess Park down there in the south-ish bit, with just a handful of houses on Albany Road and Coubourg Road falling inside the mile-away station limit. Woolwich, which non-Londoners might describe as being to the east and down a bit, is one of the lesser connected areas, although the dead zone there also covers much of Woolwich Common and Shrewsbury Park, almost as if planners had some sort of clue.
If there's a theme developing here, it's that the suburbs are places to mock because nobody serious lives there. Would that we all had the money to live in the centre. And finally Lifehacker chipped in, though only briefly.
We're used to finding maps created to help us visualise the top places to live in London, but now a new one created by London blogger Diamond Geezer is here to show us where not to buy or rent a place - assuming you want to be close to public transport that is.
Created using Google Maps, the interactive map of London (which you can take a look at here) shows you which places in the capital are more than a mile away from the tube or any other kind of rail-based public transport station. Which is about a 20 minute walk.
The map shows that most of central London is actually really well connected, with only an area of Burgess Park in the south east(ish) area and Woolwich Common being more than a mile away from a station. It gets more interesting as you get further out and could well be a useful tool if you're thinking of moving to the suburbs but still want to be able to get central fairly easily.
And I fear that this makes the key point most clear. Whereas I'd thought the map told a story about trains, in fact it told a story about house prices, and maybe that's why it got rebroadcast so much. Whatever, the Outer London suburbs that certain people had laughed at might actually be the only places in the capital that many Londoners can afford to live. And for goodness sake don't forget the humble bus, because like anybody chooses to walk more than a mile these days, what?