Tim Allen

Picture credit: Tim Allen

Officials have defended a controversial ban on DSLRs inside an old tube station and blamed it on a ?spiral staircase?, as the row escalates.

London Transport Museum has described as a ?bit disappointing? photographers? reaction to the sign which appeared at two recent open day weekends at the now-disused Aldwych station.

As we reported earlier this week, the sign read: ‘Due to their combination of high-quality sensor and high resolution, digital SLR cameras are unfortunately not permitted inside the station.’

After a storm of protest online, the matter has since been taken up by several other photo magazines and websites, including the British Journal of Photography, forcing the London Transport Museum on to the back foot.

Officials have attempted to brush the matter aside.

London Transport Museum spokesperson Wendy Neville told AP that the matter has ?been and gone? and she couldn?t see what all the fuss was about.

?We could have not gone ahead with the [open day] event,? she told us.

Refusing to comment further by phone, she later emailed a statement which read: ?There was not a ban on taking photos during tours.

?However, there were restrictions on professional cameras and tripods because we were concerned that people using them could delay the tours for others, as it was a very tight schedule with more the 2,500 visitors going up and down a spiral staircase of about 160 steps to get to and from the platforms.

?We wanted to make the tours as enjoyable and safe as we could for everyone. With the huge public interest in seeing the disused tube station it was better to have the event with this restriction rather than no visit at all.

?We apologise to visitors who wanted to use this kind of camera during tours to the station.?

Last weekend, photographer Tim Allen described the rule as ‘idiotic’.

Fellow photographer Paul Vincent wrote on Twitter: ‘One chap brought a 35mm [film] SLR.’

Another, using the Twitter name Emilio, used an iPhone to avoid falling foul of the regulations.