Bid to put long suffering market on the tube map

EDGWARE Road tube station must be renamed Church Street Market to save the well-loved trading centre from decline, according to campaigners

Susanna Wilkey

EDGWARE Road tube station must be renamed Church Street Market to save the well-loved trading centre from decline, according to campaigners.

A report from the London Assembly this week revealed markets across London are in serious trouble - and so assembly member Murad Qureshi has become the latest to call for the Bakerloo line station to be renamed.

Mr Qureshi, who lives in St John's Wood, says renaming it will end confusion and put Church Street Market on the map.

There are two Edgware Road stations - one for the Bakerloo line and one for the Circle, District and Hammersmith and City lines - on opposite sides of the Westway.

Mr Qureshi's idea is supported by many residents, councillors and market holders who think it would bring prosperity to the area.

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He said: "What better way to promote a market than by having it announced on the tube every few minutes, literally putting it on the map - our world-famous tube map.

"This would be substantial and sustainable long term advertising providing a real boost to the local economy.

"A name change would put an end to the confusion and encourage previously lost tourists to visit Church Street and enjoy the London market experience."

The London's street markets report highlights the important role of markets in the capital and proposes a number of measures to protect and promote them.

The committee found that markets are beneficial for local economies because they attract people to the shops and are also healthy for Londoners as a source of reasonably priced fresh foods.

Church Street councillor Aziz Toki said: "To me this is a brilliant idea. Firstly, these two stations have the same name which is confusing for people and secondly, the Church Street name is great because it is a historical place and there are a lot of antique shops there.

"Naming the station Church Street will be an easy way to identify it for tourists and locals and it will bring more people to shop here. It is a fantastic idea and I wholeheartedly support it."

Mr Qureshi said: "We are suggesting a strategic approach to help with protecting markets and marketing them to the public and potential new stallholders.

"Local authorities should be encouraging traders from farmers' markets to take up vacant pitches and integrate with the traditional street market population."

The London Assembly's report recommends that the Mayor creates a 100 London Market strategy along the same lines as his 100 Public Spaces strategy.

This would provide support to markets in terms of planning guidance, marketing and business advice to help them thrive.

But a Transport for London spokeswoman said there were currently no plans to change the name of the Edgware Road station.

She said Tfl receives several requests each year proposing tube name changes but rarely agrees to them.

"The cost of changing the name of a station is substantial and time consuming, as it is not just the physical signs in the station that have to be changed but also maps, leaflets, related publications and pre-recorded announcements.

"And it is necessary to take account of the confusion a change can create for the travelling public.

"The last station name change on the Tube occurred in 1989 when Surrey Docks on the East London line was renamed Surrey Quays."

One of the most famous Tube station title changes was in 1932 when Gillespie Road took the name of Arsenal, after a suggestion by the club's manager, Herbert Chapman.