One of London Underground’s most congested lines could be transformed into a gigantic moving walkway, if NBBJ gets their way. The global architecture firm unveiled plans to turn the Tube’s Circle Line into an airport-style travelator with three lanes that move at different speeds. The Circle Line’s 17-mile-long route currently carries 114 million people each year and is notorious for delays.


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The radical proposal is just conceptual, but NBBJ claims the idea would shorten travel times, improve health and wellness, and boost capacity threefold. Here’s how it would work: passengers board the walking superhighway via a feeder lane moving at 3 miles per hour that connects to a yellow “slow” lane that goes at the same speed through stations but accelerates to 6 miles per hour and up to 9 miles per hour in lit tunnels. The orange “middle” lane travels up to 12 miles per hour and the leftmost red “fast lane” reaches top speeds of 15 miles per hour.

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The bizarre proposal was created as a response to New London Architecture’s call for ideas on how to improve life in the capital. According to the Evening Standard, Christian Coop, the design director at City Road-based NBBJ, said that compared to the average hour-long commute it takes for the Circle Line train to complete a loop, that same route would only take 56 minutes for a person walking at an average pace of 3 miles per hour on the travelator’s “fast lane.” NBBJ calculates the walkway could accommodate up to 55,000 people on the Circle Line travelator at any one time.

+ NBBJ

Via Evening Standard

Images via NBBJ