Back in the early days of this blog, I used to bitch about the Merseyrail map. The reason was simple - they changed it, and made it awful, and I hated it.
Then I met the man who designed it at a party and I felt a bit guilty so I went quiet.
It didn't stop me hating it though. I'd still look at it hopefully now and then as I waited on the platform. I thought they might improve it. They didn't.
The map's had a bit of a hammering of late, with enormous explanatory boxes all over it to explain which underground stations are closed for refurbishment. That's fine. It's a necessary evil.
I cannot, however, forgive the latest version of the map.
What's so bad about it, you ask? COMPUTER: ZOOM AND ENHANCE.
Central's not there any more. I mean, there's a big label where it should be, and the lines cross as they should, but someone's forgot to add the circle back on.
This is shoddy, shoddy work, and I'm shocked that no-one at Rail House noticed it. They were all so busy concentrating on the fact that Lime Street is now in a green box that they didn't notice Central had disappeared. Since Liverpool Central is the station nearest to Lime Street for Wirral Line users, it might be handy if there was some indication that it was open to passengers. I took this photo on the Moorfields platform but I presume it's also up in Lime Street Mainline. If you've arrived on a train, hoping to get to Chester, would you believe there was a station at Central? (It could, after all, just indicate that this is the "central" part of the city).
Unless this is a deliberate fox to try and get everyone who would have used the always-busy Central to use Moorfields instead. In which case, why not go the whole hog and leave it off the map completely? Perhaps turn the loop (/SQUARE) into just a little green line between Moorfields and James Street.
It's just poor, Merseyrail.
And I haven't even mentioned the fact that they could have got rid of Lime Street's circle on the Wirral Line. Indicate that there is no longer an interchange. I managed to do that with MS Paint 18 months ago. Presumably they have access to Corel Draw and Photoshop and those whizzy tablets with the little styluses.
Tell you what, Merseyrail: you can print that off and use it as a sticker on all the maps you've already printed off. YOU'RE WELCOME.