A FICTIONAL Reading Underground tube map is now on sale in an independent shop in the town centre, after winning the hearts of readers during lockdown.

The creation of the Reading-wide map for April Fool’s Day during the coronavirus lockdown prompted a wave of enthusiasm online – leading to radio interviews and the creation of an online merchandise store.

Now you can find the map at ‘But Is It Art?’, Reading’s indie art and gifts shop on Queen Victoria Street.

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The shop posted on instagram: “Perfect pairing with our old fave, the Reading mug.”

Joe Preece, who created the tube map with help from a friend, tweeted: “Thrilled to announce that you can now grab your copy of the #ReadingUnderground at ‘But is it Art?’ in town! #butisitart #supportlocal.”


Thrilled to announce that you can now grab your copy of the #ReadingUnderground at 'But is it Art?' in town! #butisitart #supportlocalhttps://t.co/kJJqNaWuiU

— Joe Preece 👨‍🎓🌹🦁 (@joedpreece) July 20, 2020


The fictional Reading Underground map features seven lines and 54 stations.

A digital railway systems researcher, Mr Preece, set up an online merchandise shop just a day after posting a tweet of the fictional map, with 20 per cent of profits going to NHS charities.

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In the first month, he sold 78 products, raising £27.80 for charity.

Amid the frenzy of excitement when the map was unveiled in April, we chatted to Mr Preece and a few Reading councillors to find out how challenging it would be to introduce a tube network, how much it would cost, what the council is doing to enhance transport in the town and what the dream transport scheme would be if money was no object.

Reading is, of course, now on the London Underground map, with stopping services currently running between London Paddington and Reading by TFL Rail ahead of the Elizabeth line opening.