This post is entirely unrelated to books but is dedicated to my other love: the London Underground.
It is not however a fuzzy wuzzy post about how much I love the tube like some of my earlier posts. No. This is a rant about some of the things I like least and is inspired by true (and very recent) events.
- Drivers who fail to give you relevant information. For example, when getting off the Northern line at Stockwell to board a Victoria line service it would be nice to know if the Victoria line is running with delays. Otherwise you either have to reboard the Northern line (usually the second or third train after the one you were on) or you end up on a delayed Victoria line service. Brilliant.
- Drivers who give too much information. We’ve been stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes, nobody has got on or off the train and we all know that the train is delayed. We also all know that this is because of a defective train at Finsbury Park. While I appreciate being kept informed there is no need to come over the tannoy every 2 minutes to repeat the same information. If you have no new information then don’t interrupt my reading and get my hopes up for no reason.
- Incorrect service information announcements. “Good service on all lines.” Oh really? I just got off the Victoria line where I’d spent 20 minutes sitting in a tunnel not moving, call that a good service do you?!
Those were all examples from this morning but for a more extreme example of number 3 let us consider my journey on Sunday morning.
I had to get to the ExCel centre in east London for 8am. I boarded the first Northern line tube of the day and by 8am (that’s 1 hour into my journey) I had made it as far as Clapham South (5 stops). I then got a bus to Balham, a train to Victoria and a tube to Bank. When I arrived at Bank the train I had previously been on had made it as far as Elephant & Castle. That’s 6 stops in an hour. Yet the station announcer told us twice that there was a good service on the Northern line. What is good about that?!
OK, rant over, time to get on with my day.