Buy a Travelcard for the Tube and the Bus comes free, by unknown artist, 1985
- Published by London Transport, 1985
- Printed by London Lithographic Ltd,
- Format: Four sheet
- Dimensions: Width: 1016mm, Height: 1524mm
- Reference number: 1995/631/1
London's transport system
By 1914 the Underground Group ran most of the Tube lines, three tram systems and the main London bus company, the LGOC. The posters publicise all these transport modes. Outside the Underground Group were the Metropolitan Railway and London County Council (LCC) Tramways, which ran separate poster campaigns. All these companies were merged into London Transport (LT) in 1933. The four main line railway companies also used posters to promote their London suburban services. Transport for London (TfL) replaced LT in 2000 with wider responsibility including taxis, streets, river services and some overground rail.
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The Underground has a long tradition of high quality station architecture, and has consciously promoted its best new environmental design through posters since the 1920s. More than 50 pre-war stations, including many designed by Charles Holden, are now listed buildings. New developments, station modernisation and openings, artistic decorative schemes and special exhibitions at stations such as Charing Cross (Embankment), which had its own display gallery until the 1960s, have all been featured in posters
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Tickets & fares
Relatively few London Transport posters are just about promoting more ticket sales on the system. Like any urban transport system, London's is often overloaded at peak times. Posters have always targeted travel outside the peaks with special offers on leisure journeys because the objective is to increase revenue but spread the load. The ideal is more passengers but at different times.
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Most London Transport posters illustrate the destination rather than the journey, for obvious reasons. Featuring the mode of transport, whether bus, train or tram, offers less imaginative scope to the artist and has less appeal to the majority of customers other than enthusiasts. With a few exceptions, the posters where road vehicles or railway rolling stock dominate tend to be more literal and lack artistic creativity. The best often make good use of humour and photographic images manipulated into surreal juxtaposition.
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