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Plan to sell Tube station naming rights

The sale of advertising naming rights for entire London Underground (LU) stations has been mooted as a way of creating a significant financial windfall for cash-strapped Transport for London (TfL).

Built environment consultant EC Harris head of transportation Mark Prior said he came up with the idea as a means of creating an innovative financing initiative for the delivery of new infrastructure.

“I was with LU the other day and thinking about innovative funding that perhaps they should consider selling advertising rights to stations, with the Olympics coming up and everything,” he said.

Prior said stations could be branded and named after companies, much like stadiums are.

Branded stations

He added that he did not believe the London Underground brand and image would be affected by naming a station after a large company.

“The only thing I see with the brand is the Tube Map, not the stations themselves,” he said.

Advertising experts told NCE that getting an idea like this in place for the Olympics would be almost impossible as media placement is decided years in advance.

But Prior said the move could still generate vital funds for Tube upgrades. He said initiatives such as PFI had failed with TfL.

“You just have to look at the problems with Tube Lines, and it’s difficult to see how a PPP deal can be applied to the operation of an existing asset,” he said.

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