Original article from Kent Live
It would be great if you could hop on a tube from somewhere in Kent and have a direct line to the heart of London – but for some reason, you just can't.
A re-imagined map of the London Underground has revealed what it might look like if it did though.
Now initially that might seem obvious – the London underground shouldn't have a reason to go to Kent – but if you look elsewhere, it becomes clear that Kent has been given a pretty raw deal.
There are a total of sixteen underground stations outside London itself, including Epping in Essex and Watford in Hertfordshire – both of which are just as far from Central London as many parts of Kent.
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Dartford, Sevenoaks, and even historic parts of Kent like Sidcup and Orpington are far closer to the centre of London than some of the northern tube stations – and really should have their own stops.
Yet the capital's underground network doesn't even go anywhere near South East London, let alone Kent. And here's why.
It's an often asked question and a good place to start answering it is to look at the distribution of stations as they stand today.
There are more than 250 stations north of the River Thames, but just 29 to the south.
The south isn't lacking in demand for the Tube – from Croydon to Bromley, huge parts swathes of London simply aren't served by the service, having to settle for slower and less-connected overground trains.
Somewhat ironically, only the Northern Line makes any serious attempt to venture into South London, but it still only makes it to zone four.
To illustrate the point website Colour Country produced a stark map, which imagines the tube as it was in circa 2009 flipped to weight South London as North London currently is.
It also finally gives places like Bexleyheath, Bromley, Sidcup and Orpington their long awaited Tube stations.
Explaining the map, the creator said: "The London Underground map, rearranged so that South London gets most of the stations.
"The lines and river are identical to the real Tube map, but rotated so that Castelnau exchanges places with the Isle of Dogs: the axis of the river’s rotational symmetry passes roughly through the London Eye.
"It has been pointed out that Kew Gardens and Silvertown stations can be found one from each end of the North (South?) London Line in both this and the real map, which is a nice coincidence."
The original purpose of the Tube was to connect various mainland railway stations with one another, as an alternative to gridlocked traffic on the roads.
With these main stations being in North London it naturally follows then that the first Underground stations were also north of the Thames.
It was also designed to give new developing towns greater access to the centre of London – as places like Edgeware on the Northern Line hardly existed prior to the Tube being built – and share the same suburban architecture of Sidcup, Orpington and Dartford.
This is because they were all built at the same time – during the 1930s, as London began to expand beyond the original boundaries of the city – but South London simply didn't get the same infrastructural investment as North London.
As a result, the South East – and the neighbouring parts of Kent – remain without much of a developed transport network, relying on historic overground lines and bus routes to get around.
You can only hope that one day justice will be done by the counties south of the river, and we'll finally get the shining Kent Tube line that towns like Tonbridge and Crayford truly deserve.