Transport for London (TfL) have launched an accessibility boosting innovation as a set of free audio guides have been launched, relating to the 10 stations that make up the central section of the Elizabeth line.
These informative guides cover each station’s key characteristics and cultural history such as art, architecture and more. These three-minute audio experiences are easily accessible through simply scanning a QR code featured on a poster within each station.
The guides are narrated by notable figures from in and around the local areas, including the likes of MOBO Award-winning rapper Guvna B, who was born and grew up in Custom House and the Paddington station guide is voiced by author Karen Jankel, the daughter of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond.
Guvna B, who narrates the Custom House audio guide, said:
“I was born and bred in Custom House, it's the place I call home. I grew up around working-class English people as well as first-generation Brits from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. We were all so different, but our differences united us and that's the beauty of this place.”
Through listening to these guides passengers and those traversing the stations will unlock key knowledge about the infrastructures and the rich history of London’s transport network, including key facts such as Paddington station’s interior being long enough to house the Leadenhall Building on its side, the building also known as 'The Cheesegrater'.
Emma Strain, Customer Director at Transport for London, said:
“We are delighted that some incredible Londoners have lent their voices to this series of free audio guides. The Elizabeth line has transformed travel in London and beyond, and these guides offer a great way to find out more about the central section stations' art, design and much more. We hope that Londoners and tourists will visit all 10 stations and listen to the full set on their travels.”
As the Elizabeth line reaches its inaugural anniversary of services, more than 100 million passenger journeys have been made since its launch in May 2022, with half of these journeys coming between the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood. Sunday 21st May will see the TfL introduce the final version of the Elizabeth line timetable.
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said:
“The transformational Elizabeth line continues to go from strength to strength, with hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the speedy and reliable trains each day. With these new, free audio guides Londoners and visitors can discover brand new insights about the 10 stations that make up the central section of the railway, narrated by remarkable Londoners with a long-standing link to the local area. I encourage everyone to give the new audio guides a go and learn all about these incredible stations, from their history to their art and design.”
The full list of stations and audio representatives includes:
- Abbey Wood - voiced by Lindsey Weaver, Partnerships and Activity Manager for Lesnes Abbey Woods
- Bond Street - voiced by Anu Kathuria, manager of Pali Kitchen
- Canary Wharf - voiced by Julie Dang, Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager for Canary Wharf Group
- Custom House - voiced by Guvna B, rapper and author
- Farringdon - voiced by Paul Martinelli, owner of P J Martinelli Ltd in Smithfield market
- Liverpool Street - voiced by Melanie White, Director of Brick Lane's Beigel Shop
- Paddington - voiced by author Karen Jankel, who is the daughter of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond
- Tottenham Court Road - voiced by Sophie Rowland, Theatre Manager for the Dominion Theatre
- Whitechapel - voiced by Neil Dalton, Customer Service Supervisor for Whitechapel station
- Woolwich - voiced by Scott Maslen, actor.
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