TfL station gets new identity

TfL station gets new identity

A very controversial issue this – its not the first time of course – however the backlash this time has been more vociferous and its because of various factors including disability, accessibility etc. To start with TfL have yet again renamed a tube (and Elizabeth line) station! The difference this time is the entire station has been renamed (rebranded as TfL says) rather than just a part of the station (like the platforms for example).

From 15th September 2023 Bond Street became known as Burberry Station – the reasoning behind that being this is London Fashion Week (LFW) and so Burberry’s (a famous London/Bond Street located company and of course one of the major supporters of LFW) has paid TfL for the station to be known by this alternative name. Evidently the price was right!

If its now Burberry Street station perhaps TfL should get rid of those ‘Bond Street now open’ posters and put up some that declare ‘Bond Street is now closed…’

While it is good that TfL can source income by this method – given the huge constraints imposed upon it in terms of funding and support – the move has irked a lot of people largely because 1) the new name confuses many people and some didn’t even want to alight from their trains or use the station because they couldn’t trust the fact it was a temporary renaming. 2) Those who have for example Learning Disabilities or Autism or Downs, would likely find the name very confusing because they would wonder whether they had got lost – its not just that quite a few people reported on social media they thought they had taken the wrong train/wrong line and ended up at the wrong station. It can be confusing to expect to arrive somewhere and then look out of the carriage window and realise the station isn’t what one had expected.

Evidently if the whole station gets renamed people are going to find that somewhat confusing….

One person informed her mother had failed to meet here because she passed right through without realising it was Bond Street station! A taxi driver says their passenger didn’t trust them when they were dropped off at Bond Street because they could see it said Burberry Station, and the passenger refused to leave the taxi because they thought they were being duped or something of the sort.

Another entrance renamed. The only one that wasn’t was the accessible entrance in Marylebone Lane.

Compared to other previous TfL station rebrandings, this particular move has infuriated an awful lot of people – and no doubt its because almost every signage, and nearly every line diagram and almost all the external station names were changed too. The latter was perhaps the most surprising as it no doubt totally changed the scene for many – even I felt a little unsettled by it despite being very familiar with the station – the impact this change must have had on others must have been quite considerable.

The main entrance in Oxford Street announces to the world it is Burberry Street station!

That alone was one reason, besides many others, that staff at the station were having to make assertions over the public address system such as ‘Passenger announcement, this is Bond Street, there is no such place as Burberry Street. It was just temporarily renamed for London Fashion week.’ (Twitter).

Even the station areas off limits had been renamed!

As just mentioned normally this sort of advertising thing entails part of a station, perhaps one platform or one line. For this LFW do every single platform was renamed – Central, Jubilee and Elizabeth lines. That’s an awful lot of renaming. One thing I noticed as soon as I arrived at the station was even the tube roundels in the off limits areas (those on the Jubilee line) had too been renamed. Surely that wasn’t necessary?

Yes the station roundels on the opposite tunnel walls were as they always are (eg Bond Street) however these are the least likely to be noticed when a train is in the platform so that wasn’t too helpful. It would have been perhaps better if they had kept the names along the tops of the platforms as they were and renamed the roundels instead or it could have been done the other way round for example the roundels remained as they were and the longitudinal names were instead changed.

Anyway here’s some further pictures I took of the station on its very first day as ‘Burberry Station….’

The main ticket hall off Oxford Street was full of Burberry logos!

The main escalators with Burberry advertising. At least this is one area where the branding would be more apt.

Burberry Street or Spongebob the musical? Whichever one rocks your boat!

Westbound Central line platform announces Burberry Street as far as the eye can see….

An unique aspect in terms of the whole publicity was this ‘backlit’ roundel. There’s only one to be found in the whole station and its a reminder of the days when London Underground had quite a few stations with backlit roundels.

FOI Request – Equality impact assessment for Burberry station rebrand.