The Circle line is no longer a circle, but it may one day be a travelator.
If designer Christian Coop and his colleagues at NBBJ have their way, the entirety of London’s most unloved and delay-prone Underground line will be transformed into a three-lane moving walkway.
In Mr Coop’s vision, passengers step onto the yellow ‘slow lane’ of the travelator from 3pm ‘feeder’ walkways. The slow lane accelerates to a maximum of 9mph in lit tunnels, but there is also a 15mph red ‘fast lane’ for travellers wishing to get home before the end of the century.
It is an ambitious project, but Mr Coop and his team at the City Road-based architectural design firm say the walkway would benefit the health of travellers and permit more to travel at any one time.
As a bonus, a traveller walking a steady 3mph in the fast lane would complete the entire 17-mile line in 56 minutes less than the Tube currently takes on a good day (and let’s be honest: the Circle line seldom has one of those.)
NBBJ proposed the travelator in response to think-tank New London Architecture’s challenge for ideas to improve daily life in the capital.