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Check out these amazing hand-drawn London transport maps

James Manning

Phil Roe worked on the tube for 42 years. A proud London transport geek, he’s spent years collecting old transit maps and also drawing his own, like this painstaking diagram of London’s bus routes in 1936. (Click here to see the full image.)

Phil features in a film by artist Zineb Sedira as part of ‘Collecting Lines’: the latest Art on the Underground commission, which includes a series of films and photos now being displayed on the Victoria line. ‘Why would anyone want a load of maps?’ he asks in Sedira’s film. ‘Maps tell a story. Maps give you history… They tell me more about London than most books do.’ Phil, we feel you. Here are a few more of his incredible, hyper-detailed pen drawings.

A geographic map of tube services on Christmas Day, 1977

Click to see the full image.

A map and list of bus and tube routes open on Boxing Day, 1981

Click to see the full image.

A map of suggested fares by distance from Green Park

Click to see the full image.

Phil reckons that when he drew a series of these maps in the mid-’70s, he accidentally invented the first version of TfL’s zone system. (And yes, those fares are in pence.)

Read more about ‘Collecting Lines’ by Zineb Sedira, then lose hours to this animated tube map showing the busiest times on the underground.


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