Mayor accused of 'virtue signalling nonsense' over multi-million pound London Overground rebrand

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A £6.3m rebrand of commuter rail lines to honour the Windrush generation and suffragettes has provoked a row after Sadiq Khan’s main election rival accused him of ‘virtue signalling’ nonsense.

Six London Overground routes will be renamed and given different colours on the Tube map.

Transport for London said changes to the orange-coloured Overground - often referred to as the ginger line - would make it easier for passengers to navigate the network and celebrate London’s diversity.

New board for the Windrush Line Credit: ITV News

The six new names are:

-The Windrush line: Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction/New Cross/Crystal Palace/West Croydon

-The Suffragette line: Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside

-The Lioness line: Euston to Watford Junction (A tribute to England’s women footballers. The line includes a station at Wembley

-The Mildmay line: Stratford to Richmond/Clapham Junction (The line honours the Mildmay Hospital in Shoreditch which cared for patients in the 1980s AIDS crisis)

-The Weaver line: Liverpool Street to Cheshunt/Enfield Town/Chingford (The name refers to the East End’s historic textile trade)

-The Liberty line: Romford to Upminster (Celebrating freedom and the ‘historical independence’ of Havering

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: "This is a hugely exciting moment, transforming how we think about London’s transport network. "Giving each of the Overground lines distinct colours and identities will make it simpler and easier for passengers to get around. In re-imagining London’s tube map, we are also honouring and celebrating different parts of London’s unique local history and culture. "The new names and colours have been chosen through engagement with passengers, historians and local communities, reflecting the heritage and diversity of our amazing city.” 

The new London Overground map Credit: Transport for London

Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive Officer for The Football Association, added: "We’re so pleased to see the Mayor of London and Transport for London recognise the historic achievements of our England women’s team with the newly named Lioness line.

"The line honours the incredible victory in the UEFA Women’s EURO in 2022 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, and the lasting legacy this team is creating in inspiring the next generation."

Conservative London mayoral candidate Susan Hall said Sadiq Khan was spending money in the wrong place, adding: "The Central line is in a terrible state, TfL is wasting money left, right and centre, crime on the Tube is soaring, and Sadiq Khan is ignoring all of this to focus on his own PR. I will listen to Londoners, fix the problems with TfL and get a grip of crime."

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