London’s Transport Museum was last refurbished in 1993. The Museum is owned by Transport for London, which was formed in 2000 and covers a much wider remit than its predecessor London Transport. As a result, the new Museum will cover not only the story of buses, trams, rail and the Underground, but also cycling, walking, taxis and the River Thames.
The Project is addressing the condition of the Museum's building, which needs urgent attention. The Grade II-listed Victorian building was built to house Covent Garden’s flower market, made famous by the musical ‘My Fair Lady’. The current environmental conditions are not ideal for fragile Museum objects. Light levels through the glass roof are too strong for the safe display of paper items, such as posters, leaflets, maps and engineering drawings. The building is very hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter, which is very damaging to the vehicles in particular.
Repairs to the roof and improvements to environmental conditions will allow the Museum to include posters and drawings in the main galleries for the first time. The completion of the Project will also ensure that this beautiful historic building is restored for future generations.
The new Museum will have more exhibition space, including a brand new gallery at the top of the building. Families will be able to explore a new learning zone, more of our popular 'driver's-eye' simulators, a play area for the under 5s and fantastic new interactives throughout the Museum.
As well as uncovering the stories of more modes of public transport and the people who have worked on them, the Museum will have several new themes. Galleries will showcase London Transport's famous design heritage, the poster collection, public transport during both World Wars and plans for the capital's development in the twenty-first century. They will also encourage visitors to look at London within the context of other major world cities.
The Museum aims to:
From Autumn 2007, visitors will discover the amazing story of London's transport, its context on the world stage and visions for its future in a state-of-the-art Museum. Expanded learning areas will enable more people from a wider range of communities to use the Museum as an educational resource.
Significant financial support has already been pledged for this project by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Transport for London, The Friends of London's Transport Museum , Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and our Sponsorship Partners . Substantial support from industry is essential and sponsorship is still being sought to realise this inspiring project.