Wednesday 2 December 2009

The London Tube - A fight for survival!

A dog eat dog world, everyman for themselves! A Darwinian struggle for survival, where only the strong survive and the weak perish. Sounds like a nightmarish vision of a society gone wrong? Actually it's life on the London Tube according to a report published this week by the London Assembly, which revealed shocking levels of overcrowding on the underground!

Apologies to those of you who don't live and work in London and don't have to use the Tube on a daily basis. But for those of us who do, this report only confirms what we already know!

Perhaps my introduction was a little tongue in cheek, but I think most people will admit it can be a battle some days.

In the report entitled 'Too Close for Comfort' passengers told researchers that they 'suspended normal codes of behaviour' when travelling on the Tube.

One person was quoted as saying 'I'm a different animal on the tube..' All of this said as a result of the stress and challenges of the rush hour commute!

The two worst lines for overcrowding were the Central and Northern, which by coincidence are the two lines I use everyday to get to work!

No matter how stressful and uncomfortable some journeys might be, I can't say that I turn into a completely different person and abandon all my usual codes of conduct.

For me its all about going into your daily commute with the right attitude. Not that you're going to war, but you've got to be 'up for it' so to speak. A certain assertiveness is needed when travelling during rush hour.

I've lost count over the times where I might be running late, the next train is coming in 2 minutes and there's no room on the platform to move. I think to myself: 'I am getting on this train no matter what! This train has my name on it!'

I'm not going to literally fight to get on, but I'm going to do what I need to do within acceptable public behaviour to make sure I'm on it.

At the end of the day despite what the report has said and highlighted, it doesn't mean to say that anything is going to change soon, because it most likely isn't.

Since the first time I moved to London, the tube has always been overcrowded, but you just except it as being one of the downsides and frustrations of London life. London makes up for it in other ways. I also think packed overcrowded transport systems are just part and parcel of modern big city living.

To be honest I've been to other major cities around the world, Tokyo is one place that springs to mind. Overcrowding on their train and metro system is ridiculous, but they do redeem themselves by the fact that the words 'delay' or 'engineering works' simply don't exist.

You'd like to think there's going to be major improvements on the tube network in the next few years, particularly with the Olympics in 2012, but you can't help but be cynical about these things and feel that nothing will really change!

1 comment:

  1. Commuting on the train in Birmingham is starting to remind me of commuting in London! Just the other day I couldn't get on my train because it was full and when I did get on the next train I ended up right by the door. When we got to the next stop I could see the look on this woman's face as she was adamant she was getting on and I was so ready to start if she made physical contact with me!! Luckily she shouted "can you move down please" and they all moved down. I'd rather be stuck on the M6 any day!