Is Tube brief a load of hot air?

London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s £100 000 ‘reward’ for designing an air conditioning system for the capital’s deep-level Tube trains has failed to strike a chord with product designers.

The Greater London Authority-controlled Transport for London took over the running of London Underground earlier this month. As temperatures in carriages soared to 98°F during last month’s heatwave, Livingstone offered the financial incentive for a solution.

A ‘steady’ stream of responses, including one from inventor Trevor Baylis, have been arriving at TfL, a spokesman says. But product designers, who acknowledge the problem is serious, have yet to deliver a concerted response.

‘The lack of air conditioningíĶ comes with inheriting old trains,’ says Priestman Goode director Ian Scoley, who admits he has not responded to the challenge.

The core issue facing designers is where to channel the heat and how to incorporate bulky equipment in ageing trains.

TfL is encouraging designers to submit ideas. For details contact

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