Monday, January 08, 2018
Now that the new tube map is out, let's point the spotlight at a tiny addition in north London. It's on the Goblin - the Overground line from Gospel Oak to Barking - and it's an interchange which previously wasn't there. You could have walked it, that's always been possible, but someone's suddenly decided it deserves to be on the map. It's Archway to Upper Holloway.
I went to Archway to give the new connection a try. It's quite a walk, which anyone choosing to interchange here might not be expecting. From Archway it's a walk down the Holloway Road, and from Upper Holloway it's an uphill climb instead. Nobody's erected special signs telling people where to go, but a map outside each station shows the location of the other, if you think to look. Both maps suggest a walk of just over five minutes. I walked it in 4 minutes 20.
Adding this connection to the tube map introduces a link between the Goblin and the Northern line for the first time. Previously a traveller trying to get from Finchley to Walthamstow might have assumed they'd have to go all the way into central London and back out, whereas now a change at Archway looks the way to go. And even though it involves exiting one station and entering another it doesn't cost extra, because TfL have this link set up as an Out of Station interchange (or OSI).
But why have the map designers suddenly added this link, and not some of the other possible Goblin connections? Maybe a look along the line will help us find out.
Goblin station Other station On map? Walking time Notes Gospel Oak Gospel Oak Yes 10s Obviously this is on the map. What's new is that the two blobs have suddenly been nudged apart, whereas they used to be touching. Upper Holloway Archway Yes 4 min 20s Never before shown on the tube map. Now shown on the tube map. [OSI] Crouch Hill - - - There are no other stations within a 10 minute walk of Crouch Hill. Harringay Green Lanes Harringay No 6 min Not on the tube map, because Harringay isn't a TfL station. [OSI] South Tottenham Seven Sisters No 4 min Really ought to be on the tube map, because it's a shorter walk than Archway to Upper Holloway, but someone seems determined not to add it. [OSI] Blackhorse Road Blackhorse Road Yes 30s Obviously this is on the map. Walthamstow Queen's Road Walthamstow Central Yes 3 min 45s Added in 2014, with the opening of a new staircase and direct link via Edison Close. [OSI] Leyton Midland Road Leyton No - Don't be fooled, Leyton Midland Road is a mile away from Leyton. Leytonstone High Road Leytonstone No 7 min 30s A bit of a hike, but is signposted, and an entirely practical interchange between the Goblin and the Central line. [OSI] Wanstead Park Forest Gate Yes 3 min Has been on the tube map ever since TfL Rail first appeared in 2015. Straightforward. Line of sight. [OSI] Woodgrange Park Manor Park No 4 min Not on the map because Wanstead Park to Forest Gate is a better interchange. But still very doable. [OSI] Barking Barking Yes 5s Obviously this is on the map. Amusingly TfL depicted it wrongly on the May 2017 map, using one blue blob, whereas it ought to have been one white blob and one blue blob, which it is now. What a mess.
I still think South Tottenham to Seven Sisters would be a better addition, practically speaking, but looking on the map it would be an awfully messy thing to squeeze in, so maybe that's why the designers haven't bothered. In the meantime expect hundreds more people to end up walking down the Holloway Road in future, because the tube map told them so.
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