Our research shows this idea is more popular than you might imagine, with six in ten saying they’d like a mobile network introduced underground. Do you agree, or is this just one more annoyance to ruin your journey?
What frustrates you most about travelling on London Underground? From packed carriages to pushing and shoving, there’s a lot to choose from, but soon there could be one more thing to add to the list – people chatting on their phones.
With Transport for London (TfL) expected to announce a deal to bring mobile reception to the tube network any day now, we decided to put this question to the test and ask commuters what they think of the plans.
Of the 914 people we questioned, six in ten were in favour, suggesting that mobiles aren’t as much as an annoyance as you might think. Still, nearly a third were firmly against the idea, proving that there’s a bit of a, ahem, mixed reception over the issue (sorry).
How would mobile coverage be used?
So, how would you use your mobile if this idea takes off? I feel too self-conscious to have long conversations on quiet trains, so I won’t be using it as opportunity to get gossiping with friends, but many disagree with me. Half our respondents said they’d use the time to catch up with family and friends.
So could tube carriages become hot conversation beds? It may be an unwelcome thought, but at least it could bring some life into our notoriously unfriendly underground.
But despite my aversion to chatting for long underground, I’d still find coverage useful for quick calls, texting and catching up on emails, so I’d definitely vote ‘for’. These were popular options in our survey too, with 85% saying they would use it to let people know if they’re running late and around a third saying they’d use it to do work during their journey.
If the deal is signed, the Mayor apparently wants it implemented by the Olympics. Will this leave you sprinting for the quiet countryside or speed-dialling your friends to spread the word?
The research in full
Would you like to be able to use your mobile phone on the tube?
If you could use your mobile phone on the tube, what would you use it for?
Letting people know if I was running late to meet them: 85%
Catching up with friends and family: 48%
Planning out the rest of my journey/day: 42%
Catching up on work: 31%
Internet browsing/access/email: 4%
Letting people know how far along the journey I am: 1%
Receiving/making calls: 1%