The M25 or London Orbital Motorway is 117 miles long encircling all of Greater London, England. An ambitious concept to build four concentric ring roads around London was first mooted in the 1960s. A few sections of the outer two rings were constructed in the early 1970s, but the plan was abandoned and the sections were integrated to form a single ring which became the M25, aka London Ring Road completed in 1986, it is one of the busiest of the British motorway network: the stretch between Junctions 14 and 15 outside Heathrow Airport records the highest number of daily traffic counts on the British strategic road network with the average flow in 2017 of 211,059 counts. This compares to 197,219 counts measured on the M1 motorway between junction 7 and 8 outside Hemel Hempstead in 2014, 195,325 counts measured on the M60 motorway between junctions 12 and 13 in Western Manchester in 2014; the M25, plus the short non-motorway A282 which joins the two ends of the M25 across the River Thames using the Dartford Crossing, is Europe's second longest orbital road after the Berliner Ring, 122 miles.
Built wholly as a dual three-lane motorway, much of the motorway has been widened: to dual four lanes for half, to a dual five-lanes section between junctions 12 and 14 and a dual six-lane section between junctions 14 and 15. Further widening is in progress of minor sections with plans for managed motorways in many others. To the east of London the two ends of the M25 are joined to complete a loop by the non-motorway A282 Dartford Crossing of the River Thames between Thurrock and Dartford; this crossing, which consists of twin two-lane tunnels and the four-lane QE2 bridge, is named Canterbury Way. Passage across the bridge or through the tunnels is subject to a toll, its level depending on the kind of vehicle; this stretch being non-motorway, it allows traffic, including that not permitted to use motorways, to cross the River Thames east of the Woolwich Ferry. However, in 2017 Highways England published plans to build another motorway-grade Thames tunnel to the east of Gravesend and Grays, the Lower Thames Crossing, in order to relieve congestion on the A282 Dartford Crossing and connect the M25 at North Ockendon in Essex with the M2 in Kent.
At Junction 5, the clockwise carriageway of the M25 is routed off the main north–south dual carriageway onto the main east–west dual carriageway with the main north–south carriageway becoming the A21. In the opposite direction, to the east of the point where the M25 diverges from the main east–west carriageway, that carriageway become the M26 motorway; the radial distance from London varies from 12.5 miles in Potters Bar to 19.5 miles in Byfleet. Three Greater London boroughs have realigned their boundaries to the M25 for minor stretches. Major towns listed as destinations, in various counties, adjoin the M25. North Ockendon is the only settlement of Greater London situated outside the M25. In 2004, following an opinion poll, the London Assembly mooted for consultation alignment of the Greater London boundary with the M25. "Inside the M25" and "outside/beyond the M25" are colloquial, looser alternatives to "Greater London" sometimes used in haulage. The Communications Act 2003 explicitly uses the M25 as the boundary in requiring a proportion of television programmes to be made outside the London area.
Two motorway service areas are on the M25, two others are directly accessible from it. Those on the M25 are Clacket Lane between junctions 5 and 6 and Cobham between junctions 9 and 10; those directly accessible from it are South Mimms off junction 23 and Thurrock off junction 31. Cobham services opened on 13 September 2012; the M25 was unlit except for sections around Heathrow, major interchanges and Junctions 23–30. Low pressure sodium lighting was the most prominent technology used, but widening projects from the 1990s onwards have all used high-pressure sodium lighting and this has diminished the original installations. By 2014 only one significant stretch was still SOX-lit and the units were removed the same year; the motorway passes through five counties. Junctions 1A–5 are in Kent, 6–14 are in Surrey, 15–16 are in Buckinghamshire, 17–25 are in Hertfordshire, 26–31 are in Essex. Policing of the road is carried out by an integrated policing group made up of the Metropolitan, Thames Valley, Kent and Surrey forces.
The M25 is one of Europe's busiest motorways. In 2003, a maximum of 196,000 vehicles a day were recorded on the motorway just south of London Heathrow Airport between junctions 13 and 14; the idea of an orbital road around London was first proposed early in the 20th century. An outer orbital road around London had first been proposed in 1913, was re-examined as a motorway route in Sir Charles Bressey's and Sir Edwin Lutyens' The Highway Development Survey, 1937. Sir Patrick Abercrombie's County of London Plan, 1943 and Greater London Plan, 1944 proposed a series of five roads encircling the capital; the northern sections of the M25 follow a similar route to the World War II Outer London Defence Ring, a concentric series of tanks and pillboxes designed to slow down a potential Ger
John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis & Partners is a chain of high-end department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom. Concessions are located in the Republic of Ireland and Australia; the chain is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, created by Spedan Lewis, son of the founder, John Lewis, in 1929. The chain has promised since 1925 that it is "never knowingly undersold" - it will always at least match a lower price offered by a national high street competitor; the first John Lewis store was opened in 1864 in Oxford Street and there are now 51 stores throughout England and Wales. The first John Lewis concession in the Republic of Ireland opened in Dublin in October 2016; the first Australian John Lewis concession opened in New South Wales, Australia in November 2016. On 1 January 2008, the Oxford Street store was awarded a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II as "suppliers of haberdashery and household goods". John Lewis & Partners Reading is the holder of a Royal Warrant from the Queen in 2007 as suppliers of household and fancy goods.
The John Lewis & Partners Christmas advert was first launched in 2007 and it has since become something of an annual tradition in British culture, one of the signals that the countdown to Christmas has begun in the UK. The flagship store on Oxford Street began as a drapery shop, opened by John Lewis in 1864. In 1905 Lewis acquired a second store, Peter Jones in Sloane Square, London, his eldest son, John Spedan Lewis, began the John Lewis Partnership in 1920 after thinking up the idea during his days in charge of Peter Jones. John Spedan Lewis thought up the idea of the Gazette, the partnership's in-house magazine, first published in 1918. In 1933 the partnership purchased its first store outside London, the long established Jessop & Son in Nottingham. Jessops only rebranded itself as John Lewis on 27 October 2002. In 1940 the partnership bought Selfridge Provincial Stores; this group of sixteen suburban and provincial department stores included Sheffield. In 1949, it was reported that London branches included Peter Jones, John Barnes, John Pound and Bon Marche.
The "provincial branches" were Robert Sayle, of Cambridge and Peterborough, Tyrrell & Green, of Southampton and Lance & Lance of Weston-super-Mare. They had "silk shops" at Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1953 the Reading department store Heelas became part of the John Lewis group, retaining its original name until 2001, when it adopted the John Lewis name. In 1953, the partnership bought Herbert Parkinson, a textile manufacturer, a business which still makes duvets and furnishings for John Lewis; the first John Lewis store constructed as part of a shopping centre was the relocated Jessops, in Nottingham, in the Victoria Centre since it opened in 1972. The announcement of an anchor tenant such as John Lewis contributes to the certainty of developers' proposals, so attracts other retailers to the area. Before the relaxation of UK Sunday trading laws in 1994, John Lewis stores closed on Mondays to allow staff a full two-day "weekend"; the John Lewis Partnership were the first department store group in the UK to adopt central buying, launching the'Jonell' name for own-brand merchandise in 1937.
That brand name has been replaced with the'John Lewis' name since 2001. Additional own brands include Collection by John Lewis as well as John Lewis & Co. and Collection Weekend by John Lewis. Several Waitrose own-brand products, such as cleaning materials and party stationery, are available from John Lewis. Many stores acquired by the Partnership retained their original names for many years, including Tyrrell & Green in Southampton until 2000, Bonds in Norwich until 2001, Trewins in Watford until 2001, Jessops in Nottingham until 2002, Bainbridge's in Newcastle until 2002, Robert Sayle in Cambridge and Cole Brothers in Sheffield until 2002. All have now been rebranded John Lewis, with the exception of Peter Jones in south west London and Knight & Lee in Southsea. Investment has been made across the group in the twenty first century; this has included the renovation of Peter Jones at a cost of £107 million, completed in 2004. The original Oxford Street shop is still the largest branch in the partnership.
A complete refurbishment of the building was completed in late 2007 at a cost of £60 million. This introduced a brasserie and bistro in the store. A'John Lewis Food Hall from Waitrose' opened in the shop's basement on 3 October 2007. A second Food Hall opened at the John Lewis Bluewater store on 6 August 2009. On 4 September 2018, John Lewis underwent a major rebrand to become John Partners. Waitrose underwent a similar rebrand. In October 2018, recruitment website Indeed named John Lewis & Partners as the UK's eighth best private sector employer. Based on millions of employee ratings and reviews; as of October 2018, the John Lewis Partnership operated 52 John Lewis stores throughout Great Britain. The Oxford Street store opened in 1864, is the largest operated by the partnership. 35 of the stores are 12 are'John Lewis at home' stores. In 2009, John Lewis announced a new format of "John Lewis at home" stores, the first of which opened in Poole in October 2009; the "at home" stores are located within pre-existing shopping regions, focus on electrical and technology products.
The store in Poole opened on 22 October 2009 at the former Courts site at the Commerce Centre retail park
The M23 is a motorway in the United Kingdom, running from the south of Hooley in Surrey, where it splits from the A23, to Pease Pottage, south of Crawley in West Sussex where it rejoins the A23. The northern end of the motorway starts at junction 7 on what is a 2-mile spur north from junction 7 of the M25 motorway. From Hooley it runs for 17 miles past Gatwick Airport and Crawley. A spur runs from junction 9 to Gatwick Airport; the motorway was constructed between 1972 and 1975, at the same time as the southern section of the M25 from Godstone to Reigate. The current northern terminus at junction 7 uses the original sliproads to meet the A23 and a flyover above the junction built for the onward northern continuation remains unused; the cancellation of the unbuilt northern section from the M25 in towards Central London has resulted in the A23 carrying the majority of traffic through South London to the motorway. This is a single carriageway route, with many level junctions, traffic lights and awkward interchanges.
It travels through residential areas and is inadequate for the level of traffic it carries. A new junction was opened in 1997, between J10 and J11, for access to the new Crawley neighbourhood of Maidenbower, it was financed as part of the development of Maidenbower by the construction consortium. It gives only off-access on-access northbound; the M23 was planned to relieve congestion on the A23 through Streatham, Thornton Heath and Coulsdon in south London and was intended to terminate in Streatham Vale at a junction with the controversial London Ringways Plan's Ringway 2. In an earlier version of the Ringways Plan it would have continued into central London where it would have met the Balham Loop spur from Ringway 1 at Tooting; this was dropped in 1967 when the northern terminus was changed to Ringway 2. While a definite route had not been chosen at that time for the northern section, approval was met for the route south of the Greater London boundary at Hooley. By 1972 the southern section of Ringway 2 had been dropped from the plan, with an alternative proposal that the M23 continue further into London to end on Ringway 1.
This was countered in the same year by the GLC, who announced they would not be building that Ringway, which meant that had the M23 continued north into inner London it would not have had the motorway required at its northern end to distribute traffic to the east and west. The M23 plan was scaled back further to omit the section across Mitcham Common and end the motorway at an unsuitable location on Croydon Road before the plan was postponed indefinitely. By the late 1970s, the area along the proposed line of the motorway had become affected by blight, while the proposals were dropped in the mid-1980s, much of the land reserved for the route was not released by the Department for Transport until the mid-1990s; the missing section of motorway and the missing six junctions north of Hooley were not constructed due to the refusal of the GLC to finance the project, having encountered large scale opposition to the construction of Ringways elsewhere in London. However, the scale of the four-tier junction between the M23 and the M25, one of only three stack interchanges in the UK, is indicative of the importance attached to the M23 at that time.
From the start of July 2018 works have been taking place to upgrade a part of the M23 to an all-lane-running motorway. This is between junction 8, with the M25 and junction 10 with the A264, it is due to be finished at the start of 2020 with a budget of £164 million. The upgrades are taking place for more reliable journeys to Gatwick Airport; the upgrades include an all-lane-running motorway, 12 new emergency areas, a new concrete central barrier. There are no current plans of upgrading the motorway north of the M25, due to it reducing to the A23 with single lane traffic only 3 km further north at junction 7. There are no current plans of extending the smart motorway south either. Data from driver location signs are used to provide carriageway identifier information. Where a junction spans several hundred metres and start and end points are available, both are cited. List of motorways in the United Kingdom www.cbrd.co.uk Motorway Database – M23 History of the aborted M23 plan The Motorway Archive – M23
South East England
South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, East Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and West Sussex; as with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government. It is the third largest region of England, with an area of 19,096 km2, is the most populous with a total population of over eight and a half million; the headquarters of the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford, the region contains seven cities: Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Portsmouth and Winchester, though other major settlements include Reading and Milton Keynes. Its proximity to London and connections to several national motorways have led to South East England becoming an economic hub, with the largest economy in the country outside the capital, it is the location of Gatwick Airport, the UK's second-busiest airport, its coastline along the English Channel provides numerous ferry crossings to mainland Europe.
The region is known for its countryside, which includes the North Downs and the Chiltern Hills as well as two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs. The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley, it is the location of a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The region has many universities. South East England is host to various sporting events, including the annual Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot and The Derby, sporting venues include Wentworth Golf Club and Brands Hatch; some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills.
At Eartham Pit, Boxgrove near Halnaker in West Sussex in December 1993, the oldest human remains in the UK – a tibia bone and a pair of lower incisor teeth – were found. An Acheulean hand axe was found. Bones of a Megalosaurus were found at a slate quarry at Stonesfield in Oxfordshire and named in 1824: it is now at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. In 1822 an Iguanodon was found at Whitemans Green near West Sussex; the Meonhill Vineyard, near Old Winchester Hill in east Hampshire on the South Downs south of West Meon on the A32, was the site of where the Romano-British grew Roman grapes. The Ridgeway runs through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and is Britain's oldest road; the post office at Shipton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire, in the Cotswolds, is the oldest still in use in England, built in 1845. The first British Grand Prix was held in 1926 at Brooklands, the world's first purpose-built motor circuit built in 1907 by Sir Hugh F. Locke-King, the land owner. Much of the Battle of Britain was fought in this region in Kent.
RAF Bomber Command was based at High Wycombe. RAF Medmenham at Danesfield House, west of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, was important for aerial reconnaissance. Operation Corona, based at RAF Kingsdown, was implemented to confuse German night fighters with native German-speakers, coordinated by the RAF Y Service. Bletchley Park in north Buckinghamshire was the principal Allied centre for codebreaking; the Colossus computer, arguably the world's first, began working on Lorentz codes on 5 February 1944, with Colossus 2 working from June 1944. The site was chosen, among other reasons, because it is at the junction of the Varsity Line and the West Coast Main Line; the Harwell computer, now at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley, was built in 1949 and is believed to be the oldest working digital computer in the world. John Wallis of Kent, introduced the symbol for infinity, the standard notation for powers of numbers in 1656. Thomas Bayes was an important statistician from Tunbridge Wells. Sir David N. Payne at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre invented the erbium-doped fibre amplifier, a type of optical amplifier, in the mid-1980s, which became essential for the internet.
Henry Moseley at Oxford in 1913 discovered his Moseley's law of X-ray spectra of chemical elements that enabled him to be the first to assign the correct atomic number to elements in periodic table. Carbon fibre was invented in 1963 at the RAE in Farnborough by a team led by William Watt; the Apollo LCG space-suit cooling system originated from work done at RAE Farnborough in the early 1960s. Donald Watts Davies, who went to grammar school in Portsmouth, took over from Alan Turing in developing Britain's early computers, invented packet switching in the late 1960s at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. Packet-switching was taken up by the Americans to form the ARPANET. The
Crystal Palace, London
Crystal Palace is an area in South London, named after the Crystal Palace Exhibition building which stood in the area from 1854 until it was destroyed by fire in 1936. 7 miles southeast of Charing Cross, it includes one of the highest points in London, at 367 feet, offering views over the capital. The area has no defined boundaries and straddles five London boroughs and three postal districts, although there is a Crystal Palace electoral ward and Crystal Palace Park in the London Borough of Bromley, it is contiguous with Anerley, Dulwich Wood, Gipsy Hill, South Norwood and Upper Norwood. The district was a natural oak forest until development began in the 19th century, before the arrival of the Crystal Palace, it was known as Sydenham Hill; the Norwood Ridge and an historic oak tree were used to mark parish boundaries. The area is represented by three parliamentary constituencies, four London Assembly constituencies and fourteen local councillors. After the Crystal Palace burned down in 1936, the site of the building and its grounds became Crystal Palace Park, the location of the National Sports Centre which contains an athletics track and other sports facilities.
Crystal Palace Park has been used as the setting for a number of concerts and films, such as The Italian Job and The Pleasure Garden and contains the Crystal Palace Park Concert Platform, in place since 1997. Two television transmitter masts make the district a landmark location, visible from many parts of Greater London. Local landmarks include the Crystal Palace Triangle, a shopping district made up of three streets forming a triangle. A pneumatic railway was trialed in the area in 1864. Once the railways arrived, Crystal Palace was served by two railway stations, the high level and low level stations, built to handle the large volume of passengers visiting the Crystal Palace. After the palace was destroyed by fire, with railway travel declining, passenger numbers fell and the high level station was closed in 1954 and demolished 7 years later. Rail services declined, for a period in the 1960s and 1970s, there were plans to construct an urban motorway through the area as part of the London Ringways plan.
With rising passenger numbers, additional London Overground services began stopping at the station and a major station redevelopment in 2012 led to proposals to extend the Croydon Tramlink service to the railway and bus stations. In 2016, Crystal Palace was named one of the best places to live in London; the ridge and the historic oak tree known as The Vicars Oak were used to mark parish boundaries. This has led to the Crystal Palace area straddling the boundaries of five London Boroughs; the area straddles three postcode districts: SE19, SE20, SE26. The ancient boundary between Surrey and Kent passes through the area and from 1889 to 1965 the area lay on the south eastern boundary of the County of London, it included parts of Kent and Surrey until 1889 and parts of Kent and Surrey between 1889 and 1965. For centuries the area was occupied by the Great North Wood, an extensive area of natural oak forest that formed a wilderness close to the southern edge of the expanding city of London; the forest was a popular area for Londoners' recreation right up to the 19th century, when it began to be built over.
It was a home of Gypsies, with some local street names and pubs recording the link. The area still retains vestiges of woodland; the third quarter of the 19th Century brought the railways. The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building erected in Hyde Park to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Following the success of the exhibition, the Palace was moved and reconstructed in 1854 in a modified and enlarged form in the grounds of the Penge Place estate at Sydenham Hill; the buildings housed the Crystal Palace School of Art and Literature and Crystal Palace School of Engineering. It attracted visitors for over seven decades. Sydenham Hill is one of the highest locations in London; this led to the residential area around the building becoming known as Crystal Palace instead of Sydenham Hill. The Palace was destroyed by fire on 30 November 1936 and the site of the building and its grounds is now known as Crystal Palace Park; the area is formed by Westow Street, Westow Hill and Church Road, has a number of restaurants and several independent shops, as well as an indoor secondhand market and a farmer's market on Haynes Lane.
The triangle contains a range of vintage furniture and clothing stores, as well as galleries and crafts shops and other businesses. There is an ongoing campaign to turn a building converted into a church at 25 Church Road back into a cinema, after the former bingo hall was purchased by the Kingsway International Christian Centre. Crystal Palace still retains much of its Victorian architecture, although housing styles are mixed, including Victorian terraces, mid-war terraces and blocks of modern flats. Crystal Palace Park is surrounded by grand Victorian villas, many of which have been converted into flats and apartments. Television transmission has been taking place from Crystal Palace since at least the 1930s and two TV transmitter towers — Crystal Palace Transmitter – 640 feet tall — and Croydon Transmitter – 500 feet tall — stand on the hill at Upper Norwood, maki
Borders Group, Inc. was an international book and music retailer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In its final year, the company employed about 19,500 people throughout the U. S. in its Borders and Waldenbooks stores. At the beginning of 2010, the company operated 511 Borders superstores in the US; the company operated 175 stores in the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, including Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders airport stores, Borders Outlet stores. In February 2011, Borders applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and began liquidating 226 of its stores in the United States. Despite a purchase offer from the private-equity firm Najafi Companies, Borders was not able to find a buyer acceptable to its creditors before its July bidding deadline, so it began liquidating its remaining 399 retail outlets, with the last remaining stores closing their doors in September; the Chapter 11 case was converted to Chapter 7. Rival bookseller Barnes & Noble acquired Borders' trademarks and customer list.
By the end of December 2010, Borders employed an estimated 1,150 across its U. K. stores, which went into bankruptcy administration before the end of 2010. All stores were closed by December 31, 2010. Borders Group formerly operated stores in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore. However, these were sold off to Pacific Equity Partners in 2008 were sold again to REDgroup Retail; the stores continued to operate under the Borders brand as the unaffiliated "Borders Asia Pacific" until RedGroup was placed into voluntary administration in February 2011. The original Borders bookstore was located in Ann Arbor, where it was founded in 1971 by brothers Tom and Louis Borders during their undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Michigan; the first Borders bookshop opened at 209 State Street, Ann Arbor in 1971. Wahr's had been a textbook and school-supplies vendor, but the brothers did not deal in textbooks, they moved the retail bookshop to much larger quarters that had become available across the street at 303 South State, in the former location of the Wagner and Son men's clothing store.
The old shop was renamed Charing Cross Bookshop and Tom Frick was sent over from the new bookshop to help. The downtown Ann Arbor store moved across the street again in 1994 to 612 East Liberty, at the southwest corner of Liberty and State Streets, in the building once occupied by the defunct Jacobson's Department Store. Although not the original location, it was identified as "Borders #1" because it was the flagship store. Former Hickory Farms president Robert F. DiRomualdo was hired in 1989 to expand the company; the Borders brothers' inventory system tailored each store's offerings to its community. A sister company, Book Inventory Systems, was founded to serve as a wholesaler for and provide the brothers' custom inventory system to regional independent bookstores such as John Rollins, Thackeray's, Schuler Books, Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Borders was acquired in 1992 by Kmart, which had acquired mall-based book chain Waldenbooks eight years earlier. Kmart had struggled with the book division, having first tinkered with the assortment and with discounting.
In the Borders acquisition, Kmart merged the two companies in hopes that the experienced Borders senior management could bail out floundering Waldenbooks. Instead, many of the Borders senior management team left the company, leaving behind an larger and more unwieldy division for Kmart executives to handle on the heels of aggressive expansions by rivals Barnes & Noble and Crown Books. Facing its own fiscal problems and intense pressure from stockholders, Kmart spun off Borders in a structured stock-purchase plan; the newly formed company was called Borders-Walden Group and, by the end of the same year, renamed Borders Group. In 1994, Borders operated a mall-based toy store called All Wound Up, which sold toys and novelty items. Most All Wound Up stores were seasonal kiosks in shopping malls. Borders was slated to open stores in Canada, starting with a 50,000-square-foot retail store in Toronto. However, this was rejected for failing to meet Canadian ownership regulations for book retailers. In 1997, the company established its first international store in Singapore, occupying 32,000 square feet in Wheelock Place, Orchard Road, the largest bookstore there.
It subsequently opened another 41 stores in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and bought 35 Books etc. stores throughout Britain from Philip and Richard Joseph. In 1998, Borders Ltd. was established as a Borders Group subsidiary and with its Borders and Books etc. After becoming one of the country's leading booksellers, due to the fierce competition in the UK marketplace, a number of the Books etc. stores closed, Borders Ltd. was sold in 2007 to a private-equity investor. On November 26, 2009, Borders Ltd was placed into administration, the equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. At that time, the Borders bookshop chain in the UK started a closing down sale in all of its 45 stores. On December 14, Borders UK announced it was going out of business. All UK stores were closed by the end of the year. In the third quarter of 2006, the Singapore store emerged as the best performing among the group's 559 outlets, with the highest revenue generated per square meter. At one point, the highest-grossing location in US territory was a remodeled and expanded store in Puerto Rico, generating
The London Underground is a public rapid transit system serving London and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. The Underground has its origins in the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground passenger railway. Opened in January 1863, it is now part of the Metropolitan lines; the network has expanded to 11 lines, in 2017/18 carried 1.357 billion passengers, making it the world's 11th busiest metro system. The 11 lines collectively handle up to 5 million passengers a day; the system's first tunnels were built just below the surface. The system has 250 miles of track. Despite its name, only 45% of the system is underground in tunnels, with much of the network in the outer environs of London being on the surface. In addition, the Underground does not cover most southern parts of Greater London, with fewer than 10% of the stations located south of the River Thames; the early tube lines owned by several private companies, were brought together under the "UndergrounD" brand in the early 20th century and merged along with the sub-surface lines and bus services in 1933 to form London Transport under the control of the London Passenger Transport Board.
The current operator, London Underground Limited, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London, the statutory corporation responsible for the transport network in Greater London. As of 2015, 92% of operational expenditure is covered by passenger fares; the Travelcard ticket was introduced in 1983 and Oyster, a contactless ticketing system, in 2003. Contactless card payments were introduced in 2014, the first public transport system in the world to do so; the LPTB was a prominent patron of art and design, commissioning many new station buildings and public artworks in a modernist style. The schematic Tube map, designed by Harry Beck in 1931, was voted a national design icon in 2006 and now includes other TfL transport systems such as the Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and Tramlink. Other famous London Underground branding includes the roundel and Johnston typeface, created by Edward Johnston in 1916; the idea of an underground railway linking the City of London with the urban centre was proposed in the 1830s, the Metropolitan Railway was granted permission to build such a line in 1854.
To prepare construction, a short test tunnel was built in 1855 in Kibblesworth, a small town with geological properties similar to London. This test tunnel was used for two years in the development of the first underground train, was in 1861, filled up; the world's first underground railway, it opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives. It was hailed as a success, carrying 38,000 passengers on the opening day, borrowing trains from other railways to supplement the service; the Metropolitan District Railway opened in December 1868 from South Kensington to Westminster as part of a plan for an underground "inner circle" connecting London's main-line stations. The Metropolitan and District railways completed the Circle line in 1884, built using the cut and cover method. Both railways expanded, the District building five branches to the west reaching Ealing, Uxbridge and Wimbledon and the Metropolitan extended as far as Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, more than 50 miles from Baker Street and the centre of London.
For the first deep-level tube line, the City and South London Railway, two 10 feet 2 inches diameter circular tunnels were dug between King William Street and Stockwell, under the roads to avoid the need for agreement with owners of property on the surface. This opened in 1890 with electric locomotives that hauled carriages with small opaque windows, nicknamed padded cells; the Waterloo and City Railway opened in 1898, followed by the Central London Railway in 1900, known as the "twopenny tube". These two ran electric trains in circular tunnels having diameters between 11 feet 8 inches and 12 feet 2.5 inches, whereas the Great Northern and City Railway, which opened in 1904, was built to take main line trains from Finsbury Park to a Moorgate terminus in the City and had 16-foot diameter tunnels. While steam locomotives were in use on the Underground there were contrasting health reports. There were many instances of passengers collapsing whilst travelling, due to heat and pollution, leading for calls to clean the air through the installation of garden plants.
The Metropolitan encouraged beards for staff to act as an air filter. There were other reports claiming beneficial outcomes of using the Underground, including the designation of Great Portland Street as a "sanatorium for asthma and bronchial complaints", tonsillitis could be cured with acid gas and the Twopenny Tube cured anorexia. With the advent of electric Tube services, the Volks Electric Railway, in Brighton, competition from electric trams, the pioneering Underground companies needed modernising. In the early 20th century, the District and Metropolitan railways needed to electrify and a joint committee recommended an AC system, the two companies