The London Overground line between Romford and Upminster will be renamed as the Liberty Line by Transport for London - and the move has provoked mixed reaction.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the name “references the historical independence of the people of Havering” with the line to be marked in grey on the Tube map.

The title is a nod to the Royal Liberty of Havering.

The Recorder ran a 2017 feature on the Liberty by historian Ged Martin which explained that King Edward IV granted residents of the royal manor of Havering special privileges in a 1465 charter.

It lasted more than 400 years and resulted in Havering having its own courts and the Liberty was headed by a Crown-appointed steward.

Havering Palace was a royal residence in Havering-atte-Bower that enabled the designation of the Royal Liberty of Havering. It was later abandoned and Bower House contains some of its old stones, according to website Hidden London.

The Liberty ended in the late nineteenth century, before Havering then became a London borough in 1965.

It is represented in Havering's coat of arms, which features the Liberty's colours of royal blue and old gold.

Romford Recorder: The Liberty shopping centre has a nod to the Royal Liberty of HaveringThe Liberty shopping centre has a nod to the Royal Liberty of Havering (Image: Ben Lynch)

The Liberty shopping centre in Romford, Liberty Bell Beefeater in the town and the Royal Liberty School in Gidea Park reference its name.

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The renamed line was welcomed by some for its connection with the borough’s past.

St Edwards ward councillor in Romford, David Taylor, who had campaigned for the name last year, said “he is thrilled” that TfL has “listened to the campaign”.

He added: “The reference to Liberty reflects how Havering has a history of being self-governing, instead of being just another part of London."

Councillor Jane Keane, of St Albans ward in the town, added: “It’s lovely. It has created an opportunity to give it a bit of character and recognises Havering’s history."

Romford Recorder: David Taylor welcomed the nameDavid Taylor welcomed the name (Image: David Taylor)

Julie Frost, Romford Business Improvement District director, called it a “fitting name” as it “speaks to our borough's centuries old status as a Royal Liberty”.

This status, she said, “helped to bound our different communities together”.

She added: “What better way to keep alive the spirit of this association than by renaming a key piece of our local transport infrastructure."

The Liberty line is one of six London Overground lines that will be renamed, with the rollout taking place in the autumn.

The exercise of renaming the lines itself was criticised by council leader Ray Morgon.

He said: “We would ask why funding has been chosen to deliver this rebranding instead of the initiatives that improve the lives of our residents, such as the liveable neighbourhood projects, the upgrade to Gallows Corner and extending the Superloop to include Havering?”

Romford Recorder: Council leader Ray Morgon was unhappy with the renaming schemeCouncil leader Ray Morgon was unhappy with the renaming scheme (Image: Havering Council)

Conservative group leader on the council, Keith Prince, felt people were more concerned with delays on the Central and Elizabeth lines.

Cllr Taylor added: “Whilst celebrating our success in changing the map of London and marking it with our freedom, we must ask why the Mayor of London decided to spend millions on renaming lines in the first place."

The Mayor of London's office has been contacted for comment.