Crammed into carriages on a daily basis, forced to share personal space with strangers and made to endure a service that is regularly poor. It’s no wonder the public behaves as the latest London Assembly Transport Committee report, “Too Close for Comfort” shows. Each of us reacts differently to our journeys on the Tube, but undoubtedly all of us find it stressful. Coupled with an almost sensory deprivation lack of information, frustrations only rise.
There is nothing more annoying than arriving at a Tube station during rush hour to see that there is a 5 or 6 minute gap between trains. This means that it could be anything up to 15 minutes before you can board a train (as regularly occurs on the District Line) due to overcrowding. In this era we, as customers, should not be forced to accept such a poor service. The system is creaking under the sheer weight of numbers, the lack of proper investment and it is also held over a barrel by the unions. All of which compounds the stresses that we, the users, have to suffer.
Traveling by Tube won’t improve any time in the near future (or indeed the long-term) until the customers are treated with some respect by TFL. The lack of respect we show each other is only amplified by the contempt we are shown regularly when we use the Underground. Still at least it’s slightly better below ground than it is above. Life on buses is more akin to the state of nature described by Locke, as evidenced here.