Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sort it out Boris!

I suppose it is partly my fault for assuming that the tube would be running OK, that on a day when several London football clubs were playing at home TfL wouldn’t have most of the tube closed for engineering works.

Unfortunately, TfL did have engineering works, lots of engineering works, in fact the Victoria line was about the only line which didn’t have line closures and consequently was very busy.

This in itself wouldn’t have been a problem, except that when it gets busy the train bunch up and the have big gaps between them. The big gaps mean lots more people waiting on the platform and that then means the next train is even fuller, more people get left behind and the platforms slowly get so full it’s dangerous.

That’s pretty much exactly what had happened a minute or so before I arrived at Victoria tube station (with 50 minutes to spare to make the 10 minute journey), and when I got to the ticket barriers they had all been locked off.

They kept announcing that we would be let in very shortly as soon as the next train cleared the platform.

Unfortunately, for a line where there are supposed to be trains every 3 minutes or so, there appeared to be several missing, as the next train took over 10 minutes to arrive, and strangely, was absolutely bursting at the seams so not very many people were able to get on and they had to wait another 5 minutes for the next train to arrive to empty most of the platform.

By the time they finally released the gates my comfortable 50 minutes had shrunk to a less comfortable 25 minutes.

The next train was due in 2 minutes and then 12 minutes. I knew full well that if I didn’t get on the first tube I would almost certainly miss my train at Euston.

So I called upon all my years of being a Londoner put my head down, elbows out and piled into the scrum around the door, managing, just to squeeze both myself and my luggage into the train, displacing a couple of people heading to Highbury for the Arsenal match, though having to bend into an awkward shape to avoid being trapped in the doors as they closed.

As the train was so full it, of course, took longer at each station to empty and load so by the time I surfaced onto the concourse at Euston I was down to just 10 minutes to my train (and very thankful that I had made it onto the first train I could)

Now I’m willing to accept that it’s partly my fault for not checking in advance and taking the inevitable disruption into account when I decided what time to set off, but at the same time it is slowly getting impossible to travel round London at the weekend as more and more bits get closed down.

Perhaps it’s time that the blond haired buffoon actually did something rather than just doing Hugh Grant impressions!

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