London Underground, more like London’s ‘disrupterground’. Endless weekend closers, countless delays and impending strikes all damage the Tube – a transport system that should be the envy of the world.
My London life has been both enhanced and aggravated by the Tube. I rely on it to get to work, but if something goes wrong, a quick journey can career into hours.
The Tube is a love/hate relationship for most Londoners, but there’s a strong feeling things could be much better if the London Underground (LU) just got its act together.
More Tube strikes on the way
And it looks like there are more strikes on the way, with union members voting three to one in favour of industrial action. The words ‘not again’ start to escape gritted teeth…
Though it’s easy to be angry at the strikes, there is actually good reason – 800 ticket office jobs are set to be cut. The LU claims that only one in 20 tube journeys start with a visit to the ticket office, with some offices selling fewer that 10 tickets in an hour.
That’s not ideal, but do we really want to see the dehumanisation of the Tube? Don’t we want the option of speaking to another human being when we buy our tickets?
Part of what lightens up my Tube journeys, and also what makes it so endearing to visitors, is the personal humour from train drivers. This is one of my highlights: ‘They should have these doors in the Olympics, I’ve never seen people run so fast in my life!’
Delays, disruption and disappointment
I have the slightly unfortunate pleasure of living on the Isle of Dogs, meaning I rely on both the unreliable Jubilee line and the unbearably slow DLR. So when the impending Olympics forced DLR platforms to be extended for three carriage trains, both lines were often closed on weekends. My only option? A bloomin’ bus.
And when ‘upgrades’ are made they don’t even work. The ‘Jubes’ new signalling system has already caused disruption. Signal failures have forced me to tube jump to get home. Even the new Victoria line trains are ’23 times less reliable’ than the old ones. And don’t even talk to me about runaway trains.
It just seems like Tube upgrades are being done in the wrong way. Closing lines down every weekend for four years can’t be efficient. Why not close down one section of the line for a week, get the work done and then move on? Or even work during the night? As it stands, I can’t see light at the end of the tunnel.
What winds you up most about London's Tube?
Too many people, too few trains (39%, 80 Votes)
Too many scheduled closures on weekends. (26%, 53 Votes)
The trains are hot and sweaty (24%, 50 Votes)
There are always daily disruptions (11%, 22 Votes)
Total Voters: 205