Underground map; western suburbs, by Charles Sharland, 1912
- Published by Underground Electric Railways Company Ltd, 1912
- Printed by Waterlow & Sons Ltd,
- Format: Quad royal
- Dimensions: Width: 1270mm, Height: 1016mm
- Reference number: 1999/37162
Beyond the city
Leisure travel into the area now known as Greater London (and beyond) was promoted to increase revenue during off-peak periods. For similar commercial reasons, commuters were encouraged to live further out from the city in the new suburbs.
Posters advertising days out by tube, bus or tram, were prominently displayed at station entrances and on the vehicles themselves. They include some of the most attractive and evocative posters produced by the Underground/London Transport.
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Interwar London witnessed an unprecedented housing boom, fuelled in part by the expansion of the tube system. Following the earlier success of the Golders Green extension, new suburbs were vigorously promoted by the Underground.
An even more ambitious policy of suburban development, known as Metro-land, was pursued by the Metropolitan Railway in north west London.
Both companies used posters to sell the ideal of a better life in semi-rural surroundings, connected to the city by fast and reliable electric trains.
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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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Posters have rarely been about commuting, though they frequently encouraged people to move out to the suburbs where they would become regular commuters to central London. Almost as many posters have tried to get passengers to avoid the rush hour, though efforts to get Londoners to 'stagger the working day' have never had much impact. Not surprisingly, posters do not tend to promote the benefits of a commuting lifestyle, but try to mitigate its less appealing aspects.
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