The London Tube has been speeding us around the city since 1863 when the first underground railway linked Paddington to Farringdon Street. It’s by far the quickest way to get around and most of us don’t think twice about descending below London’s busy streets and hopping on a Tube train.
Of course it can be stressful at times. We all hate the crowded platforms and the rush hour crush. And when the city is on high alert, our nerves become strained, too.
But for those who suffer from claustrophobia, anxiety, or panic attacks, the thought of travelling in a tunnel underground is pure torture, something to be avoided at all costs, no matter how much longer the journey takes.
The good news, though, is that more than half of London’s 270 Tube stations are actually above ground. But which ones?
Plan your route round London
In an effort to help travellers who experience claustrophobia and anxiety, Transport for London has brought out a new Tube map. The stations and sections that are underground are highlighted with a grey overlay. The map also shows which parts of London Overground, DLR and TfL Rail services are in tunnels.
It’s worth noting, however, that most of central London is below ground, and the Victoria and the Waterloo and City lines are entirely underground.
TfL hopes that the new map will encourage anxious passengers to consider using the Tube where possible.
‘Making the Tube network accessible for everyone is one of our top priorities,’ said Mark Ever, Director of Customer Strategy for TfL. ‘This new map is just one of the tools we have created in response to feedback from our customers on how we can make the transport network more accessible, making travelling easier and more comfortable for all our customers.’
Charities have welcomed the new map, too.
Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Executive from Anxiety UK, said: ‘For those with anxiety conditions such as panic attacks and claustrophobia, we know that travel by the underground can be problematic and challenging.
‘This new map is an excellent resource for those wishing to avoid journeys where there are tunnels; serving as a great pre-journey planning aid and increasing access to http://less-stress.london/less-stress-tube/public transport.’
For more information about Understanding & Beating Commuter Anxiety
Anxiety UK: www.anxietyuk.org.uk
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