In pictures: TfL is holding an art show to celebrate the all-night tube

Sian at Cashpoint by Mart McCartney (2004). All images: TfL.

In case you haven't heard, London is about to get an all-night weekend tube service. Are you excited? We're excited.

And so, it seems  is TfL, which is launching an uncharacteristically hipsterish set of events to celebrate.

Up until the night tube launches, TfL will run a series of "pop-up music, dance and theatre performances". Since late last week, Westminster Tube station has also played host to an exhibition of 24 photos by British artists, dotted into the station's alcoves. The photos mostly show London night-time scenes, from tube workers leaving their shifts to jubilant unicyclists in tunnels. 

Friday and Saturday all-night services will begin on 12 September on the Northern, Piccadilly, Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines; mayor Boris Johnson has said this will be expanded to include four more lines by 2021.

You can see a few of our favourite images from the Westminster exhibition below..

After Dark (With Unicycle) – Sam Taylor-Johnson (2008)

This actually looks like a really fun job (art-abseiler?). 

New Romantics – Ted Polhemus (1981)

Yeah, it's a bit weird, but it has a tube map on it so we like it. 

Oxford Circus – Chris Porsz (2014)

We stared at this for about ten minutes before realising it's a canvas, not a platform. 

An Underground Hero – Rankin (1989)

This guy looks like the happiest man in the world. It's basically a TfL recruitment ad. 

Young Pink Kate – Juergen Teller (1998)

Nineties Kate Moss doesn't need a night tube. She's in bed by nine. 


Covid-19 is highlighting cities' unequal access to green space

In the UK, Londoners are most likely to rely on their local park for green space, and have the best access to parks. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

As coronavirus lockdowns ease, people are flooding back to parks – but not everyone has easy access to green space in their city.

Statistics from Google show that park attendance in countries across the globe has shot up as people have been allowed to move around their cities again.

This is especially true in urban areas, where densely populated neighbourhoods limit the size of private green space – meaning residents have to go to the park to get in touch with nature. Readers from England can use our interactive tool below to find out how much green space people have access to in their area, and how it compares to the rest of the country.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement Monday that people are allowed to mingle in parks and gardens with groups of up to six people was partially following what people were doing already.

Data from mobile phones show people have been returning to parks across the UK, and also across Europe, as weather improves and lockdown eases.

People have been returning to parks across the world

Stay-at-home requirements were eased in Italy on 4 May, which led to a flood of people returning to parks.

France eased restrictions on 1 May, and the UK eased up slightly on 13 May, allowing people to sit down in public places so long as they remain socially distanced.

Other countries have seen park attendance rise without major easing of lockdown – including Canada, Spain, and the US (although states there have individual rules and some have eased restrictions).

In some countries, people never really stopped going to parks.

Authorities in the Netherlands and Germany were not as strict as other countries about their citizens visiting local parks during lockdown, while Sweden has famously been avoiding placing many restrictions on people’s daily lives.

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that access to green space has major benefits for public health.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Exeter found that spending time in the garden is linked to similar benefits for health and wellbeing as living in wealthy areas.

People with access to a private garden also had higher psychological wellbeing, and those with an outdoor space such as a yard were more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than those without access to outdoor space. 

Separate UK research has found that living with a regular view of a green space provides health benefits worth £300 per person per year.

Access is not shared equally, however, which has important implications for equality under lockdown, and the spread of disease.

Statistics from the UK show that one in eight households has no garden, making access to parks more important.

There is a geographic inequality here. Londoners, who have the least access to private gardens, are most likely to rely on their local park for green space, and have the best access to parks. 

However the high population in the capital means that on the whole, green space per person is lower – an issue for people living in densely populated cities everywhere.

There is also an occupational inequality.

Those on low pay – including in what are statistically classed as “semi-skilled” and “unskilled” manual occupations, casual workers and those who are unemployed – are almost three times as likely as those in managerial, administrative, professional occupations to be without a garden, meaning they rely more heavily on their local park.

Britain’s parks and fields are also at significant risk of development, according to new research by the Fields in Trust charity, which shows the number of people living further than a 10-minute walk from a public park rising by 5% over the next five years. That loss of green spaces is likely to impact disadvantaged communities the most, the researchers say.

This is borne out by looking at the parts of the country that have private gardens.

The least deprived areas have the largest gardens

Though the relationship is not crystal clear, it shows at the top end: Those living in the least deprived areas have the largest private green space.

Although the risk of catching coronavirus is lower outdoors, spending time in parks among other people is undoubtedly more risky when it comes to transmitting or catching the virus than spending time in your own outdoor space. 

Access to green space is therefore another example – along with the ability to work from home and death rates – of how the burden of the pandemic has not been equally shouldered by all.

Michael Goodier is a data reporter at New Statesman Media Group, and Josh Rayman is a graphics and data visualisation developer at New Statesman Media Group.