Last week saw the start of Transport for London’s ambitious Legible London wayfinding scheme, which will be rolled out if the trial in central London is successful. Why should the public back this scheme, and what problems could it face?

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I think Transport for London’s Legible London scheme will benefit Londoners and visitors alike. It will assist us all to see our local areas as part of the whole metropolis and enable us to travel more freely. It is an inclusive scheme to help everyone get around with greater ease – it needs following worldwide. It will be difficult for some areas to accept its necessity, but all of us need to show the decision-makers how much it could help.
June Bretherton, Director, JBC London

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Transport for London’s promotion of multi-modal transport encourages walking in its own right and to replace short car or Tube journeys, such as Leicester Square to Covent Garden, or Embankment to Charing Cross. Legible London’s interactive info-beacons will aid seamless journeys, giving people the confidence to make more journeys on foot. The combination of maps, directional signs and transport information will also help declutter the urban landscape and provide a consistent ‘voice’ on London’s streets, reducing the need for different signage systems.
Innes Ferguson, Group design manager, Transport for London

Transport for London is doing some good things with the urban streetscape and a modern wayfinding system is desperately needed. However, it will only be successful with widespread implementation, so let’s hope more boroughs have the foresight to adopt the system. Without that connectivity this initiative could just add to the street clutter we already have too much of.
Tony Howard, Managing director, Transport Design Consultancy

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Legibility, modularity and practicality are basic hygiene factors for this sign. Could it go further if we answer the question, ‘What’s the best communications tool for those who shop, work, live, visit and eat in London?’ Maybe it could be an object of singular design, as iconic and endearing as black cabs and Routemaster buses. It could be an interactive Bluetooth avatar. Transmitting and receiving local information, telling and storing the stories of its people, visitors, places and happenings. A digital Doomsday book for the 21st century. Yes, it could go further.
Lewis Allen, Director of retail, Portland Design

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  • Richard Hill November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The public won’t back any scheme unless they see the benefits of it and that’s a complex issue i.e. what ‘public’ and for who’s benefit? I’ve used the signs and with my ‘visitor’ hat on what’s not to like? They help render a daunting city to a human scale through simple stuff like orientation and walking distances. London’s itinerant population (its commuters) sometimes don’t appreciate the ease of getting around on foot so this system can only help. Locals must see the benefits of less street clutter and a city better presented and able to present itself. The challenge for this system is to, quite literally, rise above the Underground map as our picture of the city. No small ask and one good reason to keep it’s purpose simple and reach extensive.
    Richard Hill, Creative Director, Lloyd Northover

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