Commuter Etiquette

This morning, on a very crowded train, a guy at New Cross Grate clawed at the door frame, trying desperately to squeeze himself in to the carriage, much to the disgruntlement of many of those already on board.

Over a chorus of tuts, he said that he had to get to work and that was all there was to it. We know that opinions differ on the subject, but Brockley Central would like to put itself firmly in his camp.

There is always room for one more, even on the busiest days. It just depends how badly you want it. People can always squash up a bit in the central aisles, they just don't want to. And its amazing how much more easily everyone can breath, once the doors shut. It takes supreme willpower to ignore the collective scorn of a carriage of commuters.

The guy was desperate to get to work on time. Maybe his patients were hanging on life support. Maybe his boss is just waiting for an excuse to fire him. Whatever his story, he was clearly enjoying the journey even less than the people who were grumbling.

If he's willing to endure the tuts, he deserves to be on the train.

Scenes like this obviously happen nearly every day and women commuters seem particularly begrudging in these cases - our theory is that, spared the indignity of the communal urinal that men have grown up with, they have developed a stronger sense of personal space.

But our plea, on behalf of this everyman is, give him a break.

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Or a more plausible theory is that women commuter get a raw deal on public transport often being smaller and invisible to most men how ill think nothing of barging into them.

Your 'theory' is frankly a load of patronising drivel.

Brockley Nick said...

It was a joke.

Monkeyboy said...

You've been and gone and done it now....

Anonymous said...

It's often the case that the area around the doors is packed like a tin of sardines, where the aisles (although populated) have plenty of extra space. If everyone in the aisles were to move a few inches closer the space would be dished out a little more evenly over the entire carriage. This is why the ELL is so important, more trains and a wider dispersal of people.

Headhunter said...

The best way to avoid the sardine can conditions is to cycle. I love my morning ride into London - breeze through the hair (or through the slots in my helmet) as I weave through the gridlocked traffic. I make it into Chancery Lane in 20 mins, quick shower and I'm at the desk having had some exercise and seen a bit of morning London...

Brockley Nick said...

Ahh, yes, that's a good point about the ELL trains. I think one of the downsides of the new trains is that the doors will be spaced like our usual trains (rather than tubes) which means that you will continue to get that bunching effect. Though of course much greater frequency should reduce the crowding problems.

Monkeyboy said...

Think you'll find that the ELL trains will have more space around the door areas to allow wheelchair access, wider doors too.

By the way I once saw a guy try and get onto my packed Picadilly line train - he had a surfboard. The glares he got from the other passengers made him reconsider his options.

ElijahBailey said...

That reminds of that great (and stupidly irresponsible) video of someone skiing down I think the Angel escalator :D

I really hope that they part-rebuild New X Gate station. The stairs are just too narrow to cope during peak times and the capacity problems will only get worse with the ELR (for that is the correct anagram I believe).

Anonymous said...

Commuters are thick, move down the carriage, kick ass if you have to, and the problem will lessen.

The trains have a 'stand here' design about the door area.

The current trend of getting on first before others have got off shows how thick commuter are.

mljay said...

people in the aisles should move up and squish up.... be nice to your fellow commuter, they are only trying to get to the same place you are....

Hugh said...

Was that guy called Nick?

Brockley Nick said...

It wasn't me! Although I dare say I have been in similar situations in the past.

Headhunter said...

I must admit people are amazingly stupid during the busy commuting times. I couldn't bike it into work for a couple of weeks a while back after a medical procedure on my leg and used the bus and train.

The number of people who get on the train and then just stand there in front of everyone gazing blankly around rather than moving straight down the carriage is amazing! Same on the bus - people end up clustered round the front door and the exit with row up row of empty seating upstairs, so much so that you even have to shove your way through to get to the stairs. It's as if people like being pressed close to each other in the morning before work!

And what is it with the thickos who stand right in front of the train/Tube doors so that no one can get off, or worse try to force their way onto a train before anyone has even had the chance to get off?

I'm so glad I don't commute by public transport every day, it would drive me absolutely mental!

Tom said...

Agreed HH - the only way I stay in London and sane is by cycling to work. I won't go on about it for fear of sounding smug!

(BTW 20 mins is damn fast ... its 22 mins max for me Brockley to Blackfriars.)

Info request: as someone that doesn't use the train that often, when's the best and worst times to travel in the morning into London Bridge from Brockley station?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I'm plsnning to cycle to More London Place for work (done the prep on a sunday, took 15mins - thanks for the route hint headhunter) but i'm worried about what I do when i get there:

1) Will there be any room in the companys bike rack (they seem to be full up unless you get to work 1.5hrs earlier then normal)
2) The logisitics of bringing a suit to work, shirts etc... isnt it quite an ordeal to plan all this, iron, get it washed etc.. when daily i need to carry a rucksack with a laptop?

Any suggestions?

I love cycling at weekends though...

Tom said...

My brother carries a few shirts to work on a Monday in a shoebox, which keeps them pressed and clean.

But yes logistics of cycling to work is a big challenge. Keep spares of everything, everywhere is my advice!

Hugh said...

Why more people don't cycle is a mystery. Many cite safety on the roads, although it isn't clear that the roads are that dangerous. I suspect it's easier to be a sloth.

You may have seen a reddish blur on your way to work. I was riding it.

Anonymous said...

people who use st johns on weekday mornings know this feeling well.
people blocking the aisle, nose down in a book, not even glancing up to see people's futile attempts to get on. they don't seem to appreciate there can be almost a 20 min wait for the next train from st johns.
the people behind them are not much better, staring blankly at you as you plead with them to move along. bah humbug

Headhunter said...

Well Tom, I think gearing helps to be honest. You people with your fixies can't get away from red lights as quickly, I just shift down as I approach the light and then accelerate away more quickly! Also I keep the tyres up to 100-120 psi. However, I'm probably exaggerating a little when I say 20 mins - perhaps it's more like 20-25 (depending on lights and traffic), but certainly no more than 25 on an average day...

With regard to carrying shirts, I take 1 in per day in my rucksack, must admit they often get a little crushed but it's not usually too bad if you put it at the top of the bag and then hang it in the shower room whilst you shower- the steam helps to loosen any wrinkles.

As for suits, I have a couple permanently in the office which I throw on when necessary, but generally, day to day I don't wear a suit anyway.

Other than that it's often useful to carry a few bike spares - especially inner tubes, a decent pump and puncture repair stuff. I get 1 or 2 punctures every 2 or 3 weeks

creepylesbo said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that it only takes 55 mins to walk from Telegraph Hill to London Bridge. I can't stand getting on the train now with all the Typhoid Mary's in male and female form spluttering and sneezing and wiping their germs everywhere. Eww! Much nicer to stroll to work in the sunshine and avoid all the attitude and diseases (not to mention it's cheaper!)

Anonymous said...

A bike in spring and summer is fine, but bucketing with rain, or ice on the roads, and if you have to carry a laptop is not fun. Lockers aren't provided, the risks of the bike getting stolen. You can't read a book or think too hard about the day ahead events as you have to keep a close eye on the road.

Unless London and governmental transport policy make a huge effort to promote and support cycling ~(other than allowing public transport to be increasingly horrifying, cost and behaviour of others) it will remain a pursuit of the few.

headhunter said...

I have never walked to central London, but I used to run it once or twice a week, that used to take me 45-50 mins, Brockley to Chancery Lane. But I think I pushed my body too far and now I've got a stress fracture in my right shin... Hopefully I'll be back on it in April though...

Headhunter said...

Sorry, I'm getting a bit carried away on this thread...! Rain doesn't bother me, but ice can be tricky, although these days with global warming you don't get much ice anymore! Also the council are pretty liberal with the salt in the cold weather which keeps the ice at bay.

Re lockers and showers etc after cycling - have you heard that Ken has proposed building cycle centres in central London? The first is supposed to be underground at Holborn, there will be lockers, changing facilities, showers and secure space for about 100 bikes. Apparently if this one's a success they'll build more.

Kate said...

I ran home from work a couple of weeks ago and was surprised at how quick it was (got a bit lost around Rotherhithe, but once I've worked out the routes it'd be quicker!). Would definitely like to do that more regularly.

I don't cycle to/from work because:
a) I am one of those wimps who is scared of London roads/traffic/drivers. (Probably made worse because I don't drive, so I've not had much exposure to the roads to harden me to it)
and
b) No shower facilities at all at work. Ick.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like good idea.

Somewhere to park the bike securely.

Somewhere to have a shower.

Somewhere to keep your suit.

It isn't rocket science why more people don't cycle. Few employers can provide these facilities.

100 spaces does not sound like much.

Anonymous said...

If it was next to a cycle repair shop and a dry cleaners...

Pete said...

"invisible to most men"

That's not what most women complain about on public transport. More that men stare and that is the equivalent of being raped.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/35f8qu

Anonymous said...

oh pete, what have you started now...

Maradoll said...

I cycle to work from Brockley to Green Park -

In response to Kate's concern regarding the traffic and roads - if you leave a bit earlier in the morning there is hardly any traffic to contend with.

I do have to cycle with a rucksack with all my clothes/towel/shower shoes, etc. It's really not that big of a deal. But I do work at a jeans and tee shirt type job.

My company doesn't have showers either which means that I have to have a gym membership in order to shower; which sucks and negates the cost savings of cycling - however I can attest that cycling is far more enjoyable than taking the train.

Anonymous said...

Pete: I haven't followed your link, but its not being stared at that makes me inch away from my fellow travellers on the trains. Its the experience of having been groped on crowded trains (twice) and leered at by a man actually in the act of masturbating quite publicly, with no one saying anything about it (on a tube). Please don't belittle the concerns of the female traveller. I hate to paint women as eternal victims - but i do have to insist on a tiny, even merely symbolic morsel of personal space, even during rush hour.

Hugh said...

I cycle to and from work every day unless it's raining at the time (which is rare).

Winter is just as good as summer. Icy roads? Hardly.

Dark? Buy some lights and a yellow top.

Slow? Get a decent bike and maintain it, and put some effort in.

Showers at work? Necessary.

Shirts etc? I take one new shirt a day.

Spares? I carry patches and a spare tube.

Speed? High.

Thighs? Steel.

Kate said...

The trains from Brockley are generally quite good in terms of in-your-face overcrowding, except for that 8-8.30am period.
What irritates me is when there is a fair amount of room and yet some people seem to have no sense of the concept of personal space. But then I catch myself getting irritated and have to laugh at myself, it's such a British concern.

Headhunter said...

I don't think the roads are anywhere near as dangerous for cycling as most people think. When you're sat on a bus or in a car, cyclists look more vulnerable than it actually feels when you're out there. Cyclists have a good view, perched up higher than most cars so they have quite a wide angle of view across the traffic. Also because there is no framework around a bike as there is in any motor vehicle there is nothing to inhibit this view all around. This means that you can see danger from quite far off. In any case, during rush hour most traffic is gridlocked or very slow moving so you just have to weave through it carefully watching out for pedestrians who launch themselves into the road without looking

Re the 100 spaces at the cycle centre, I thought that wasn't much either, but at least it's a start...

Brockley Nick said...

@HH

I consider myself a cautious and irregular cyclist and I agree that the roads are generally not too bad. However, even in gridlocked traffic, you are not safe - drivers pull in to bus lanes, open their doors and so on, without looking. The one time I have been hit, the car was (mercifully) travelling very slowly and simply pulled out directly in front of me as I was cycling in a cycle lane beside gridlocked traffic in Greenwich. I can quite understand why people are afraid of cycling.

Monkeyboy said...

I think more folk should cycle/run/rollerblade into work. I even saw a grown man on one of those little aluminium scooters - he looked like a burk.

All the more room for me on the train.

Bea said...

The trains from Brockley are most crushed between 07:30 and 09:00 but if - like me - you go to the very last train carriage on the platform then there is easily breathing space (although not always a seat).

Getting home in the evening is a problem too in terms of being crushed. Having lived in Tokyo I have no problem with pushing my fellow passengers to get on the train - they may tut but at least I get home / to work on time.

Cycling or walking is not an option as I would have to drop my kid off at the childminder at an ungodly hour! I think 07.30 am is an early enough drop off time already. Guess I'll just have to continue living without thighs of steel.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to talk more about my thighs, just say.

Hugh said...

If anyone wants to talk more about my thighs, just say.

Anonymous said...

Hugh the conversation is going nowhere without pics.

Brockley Nick said...

Hugh, if you email photos, I will be happy to post them, standards of decency allowing.

Hugh said...

I prefer talking.

Headhunter said...

Nick, I guess you're right about unpredictable actions by drivers. I find it helps to make eye contact with the driver, if you can't see their eyes as perhaps they are gazing at traffic going the other way, or in the mirror at kids in the back seat or whatever, I slow right down as I know they're about to do something stupid.

The only accident I have had is with a pedestrian who stepped straight out of a building, crossed the pavement and walked blindly into the street without even a glance, I hit him at about 25mph, I went flying across the tarmac and a couple of other pedestrians had to lift him off the road as he couldn't get up.

He was very shaken up, poor bloke, but I do find this is often a problem with pedestrians, especially when they see a queue of cars, they assume it's safe to just walk straight into the road without a glance and of course they usually step into the cycle lane 1st.

Tom said...

I've cycled to work for five years now, almost every day, and *touch wood* have had very few incidents.

In order, I would list the risks as:
- suicidal pedastrians, who think that what can't be heard can't hurt them.
- novice or over-aggressive cyclists, not looking where they are going or intent upon winning imaginary races.
- trucks rumbling round corners
- the temptation to jump lights in appropriately
- cars

Bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bea said...

I'm afraid to say I am one of those pedestrians who has been mowed down by a cyclist.

I was crossing Cheapside early in the morning with the sun in my eyes and the large red bendy bus had gone past as well as the black cab but the vest of the high speed cyclist, who was going faster that either the bus or the car, was invisible (and soundless) against the sun.

The first I knew of him was when I heard someone shout "Watch out where you're going you f&*%ing bitch". He didn't even fall just ran over my foot which broke the strap on my shoe. I was more shocked than outraged although those around me shouted aggressively back telling him he should be cycling with more care and attention and not at such great speed.

Since then I always double check for cyclists.

Headhunter said...

Yeah sounds familiar. I have to say though, I don't think there's any need for extreme rudeness on the roads. I've heard other cyclists, pedestrians, motorists etc screaming obscenities at each other at ungodly hours of the morning. As a cyclist I try to breathe out and accept that people make mistakes rather than blaze past in a blurr of expletives

Pete said...

To be fair to the cyclist (and I'm not blaming you in the circumstances) he probably thought he was about to get knocked off his bike you and injured.

I have been knocked off my bike by pedestrians who haven't looked and it hurts, a lot. If you think you are about to get injured foul language can occassionally escape.

I'm glad for you and him it wasn't more serious.

Bea said...

Yes, I should have looked more carefully and I too have been at the receiving end of pedestrians and, separately, a car as a cyclist – so I know what it means to summersault over the handle bars and I agree it hurts. I didn’t use foul language though!

With the pedestrian it was my fault: I was cycling too fast, slammed on the breaks and did a nose dive over the top. With the car it was his fault as he wasn’t looking where he was going – fortunately I only ended up with bruises but the whole front wheel of the bike was a crushed mess.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I guess a bit of bad language can escape. I think I swore as I skated face down across the tarmac when the bloke stepped out in front of me, but when I saw him being helped up from the road I felt a bit sorry for him. But then he called me a "crazy cyclist" which galled me somewhat seeing as he was the one who knocked me off my bike!

Maradoll said...

The argument about pedestrians not hearing a cyclist is totally valid.

Recently I've been shocked as a cyclist to not be able to hear electic cars.... You really have to be alert now.

spincat said...

I agree there are some nasty things we women experience on trains, but the kind of commuting experience described here seems to be a common problem not related to gender. I hate it (however crushed I am) when I hear people being horrible to someone who is trying to get on the train. It seems to be a nasty herd-type reflex. I also can't stand those people who beloow 'Move down the train' in self-righteous tones. Sometimes people can't.

PS: the main gender-related problem on trains, to my mind, is men who sit with their legs wide apart

Bea said...

Spincat – couldn’t agree more and it’s usually because their trousers are crushingly, obviously too tight!

Brockley Nick said...

Certainly true that most pedestrians don't look before crossing the road, they just assume it's clear if they can't hear anything coming. There's a turning near Trafalgar Square I use every day, where people just cross in their droves without ever checking to see if traffic's coming.

Cyclists definitely are too prone to firing abuse at pedestrians and motorists, but near-misses for cyclists are often near-death experiences, so it can fray the nerves somewhat!

Headhunter said...

Maradoll, that's just it, too many pedestrians seem to assume that if they can't hear it, it doen't affect them. They freely step into the road whilst texting/searching their handbags/looking ahead at someone on the other side of the road etc etc. You've gotta use your eyes!

Danja said...

Too many pedestrians are idiots, too many car/lorry/truck drivers are idiots, and too many cyclists are idiots too.

I was nearly taken out the other day by two cyclists, obviously racing each other, who instead of stopping for a red light for some roadworks, bunny-hopped at full speed (>25mph) onto the pavement, handlebars missing me by an inch or two.

Idiots* are the problem, not their mode of transport.

*Being polite.

Amanda said...

About 6 months ago, I'm walking to the bus stop, in Bloomsbury and I step out to middle island across a bus lane and I hear an angry bicycle bell being rung, I jump back and glare at the cyclist only to see a sour faced Boris Johnson glaring back.

He went through a red, but I suppose I should be grateful he at least rang his bell.

Kate said...

The pedestrian crossing on Tooley Street outside London Bridge station is a nightmare for aggressive cyclists in the mornings. They frequently crash the red lights, hollering abuse. I can sympathise with them when they yell at people who step into their path when the light is green, but they can't have it both ways. Either they wait for the red light as the pedestrians do, or they go through on green. Not both!!!

Headhunter said...

Kate, I know the one! I pass through there every morning and every evening. That's actually also a black spot for pedestrians blindly walking out into the road, probably because the traffic is usually backed up along Tooley St so as I mentioned before, pedestrians see stationary traffic and walk straight out across the road, but I know what you mean, some cyclists have appalling road "manners" too...

Anonymous said...

Bear in mind that in central London there are an awful lot of tourists from countries where they drive on the other side of the road. They look the wrong way when crossing. You really have to watch out for them around Russel Sq. Just in from the US, jetlagged - accidents waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Would it not be good cycling etiquette to place a lolly stick so it strikes the spokes thus avoiding the silent cyclist syndrome?

Graeme said...

I think that's a non-starter for most cyclists - myself at least. I spend a fair amount of time and energy making sure my bikes are as whisper quiet as they were designed to be, and the sound of lolly sticks would grate after a few seconds. It sounds like something you might instruct schoolkids to do. EVERYBODY needs to learn to slow down, expect the unexpected, and remember some basic manners and respect for others.(That goes for cyclists too.) Failing that, pain is a good teacher.

jon s said...

I'm in Finland at the moment and a fair few people ski to work. I asked them how they do it in the summer - and they use inline skates. How about roller skiing to work? (I'll be trying it in summer)

JPM said...

I've never had a problem. I get on and say: Who's next! Who's next!! WHO'S F-ING N-E-X-T!!! And... it's like the Red Sea.

kevin. said...

I'm on board with:
a) the comments about commuters on-train being idiots, generally. London Bridge Jubilee platform has introduced "measures" between now and July to help people get off the train - i.e. arrows showing where people alight. Even though the doors at the platform already show this. I try and do my bit by standing at the side of the doors and acting as a barrier to stop people rushing on, but you'll get the people desperate to rush on all the time.
b) cycling being the answer -- if I didn't have to cart a laptop up to the British Library, I'd cycle everywhere.
c) I can generally spare the time to miss a train, so I don't do the struggle, but on the occasions I haven't, I find laughing at the tuts is the best way to deal with them. If you show you don't take it as seriously as them, it helps. Well, helps me, anyway :)

Anonymous said...

Anon, perhaps cyclists should all drag rusty anvils behind them? That would make plenty of noise and sparks, to save people the bother of having to look before crosssing the road?

Tamsin said...

Keep the information coming on this point. We, i.e. those who travel into London Bridge from New Cross Gate, told tfl and the powers that be again and again before the closure of the ELL that there would be trouble and potential accidents. We used to only be able to get on the trains in the rush hour because of those who got off to move across the platform to the East London Line for Canary Wharf and the docklands. Nice civilised turn-around - people got off: people got on - admittedly you couldn't sit down but there was space.

Now, instead of getting off the trains to get on the nice empty replacement buses that take five times as long people understandably stay on until London Bridge then double back.

We have no jurisdiction over the railways said tfl. Not our problem said the rail company. They would not even consider re-timetabling the fast trains to incorporate this one extra stop.

Whose fault will it be when someone is injured or even killed?

spincat said...

I've decided to walk to work and back.

The overcrowding and the aggressive behaviour in cramped condition, (plus the 40% rise in my season ticket this year) has made up my mind.

Why suffer it as I only go to Denmark Hill? The overcrowding on the steep stairs, and the minute exit door there, creates a nasty and potentially dangerous situation - to echo Tamson's comments - and with two big teaching hospital there, those trying to negotiate it are often already ill or stressed.

ElijahBailey said...

Or mad given that there is also the Maudsley.

ElijahBailey said...

On a more serious note, I think the prolem of pedestrains not hearing cyclists and getting hit is a good reason why electric cars are so damn dangerous to those not in them.

Hugh said...

Amusing how factions automatically arise around preferred modes of transport. I suspect this happens because choosing one mode brings you into contact with particularly stupid/selfish examples of behaviour by people who choose another mode.

As a cyclist, I experience dreaming pedestrians and blind drivers every week. I tend to ride on the assumption that someone near me is about to make a mistake or doing something dangerous. After 5 years of cycling in London I haven't had any accidents, although I've had numerous near-misses of varying extremity.

Monkeyboy said...

I intend writing a PhD Thesis on this very subject

'Transport Mode Choice and It's Effect On Homicidal Violence Between Users'

Nobel prize in the bag.

Knit Nurse said...

Cyclists - use a bell! It has saved me many incidents as a cyclist and also a few as a pedestrian!

And going back to the subject of the original post, if commuters didn't feel they were morally entitled to take up the space of two people just so they could read the drivel in the free papers, it would make a lot more room for everyone.

Headhunter said...

Yeah putting a lolly stock in ones wheel has got to be the strangest suggestion! I guess eventually either the lolly stick would break or perhaps a couple of the spokes in the wheel!

I too like my bike to be whisper quiet as this way it's incredibly efficient, in fact isn't the bike suppsoed to be the most efficient machine invented by man with something like 80-90% of energy put in by the user actually converted to forward motion? Car efficiency is something like 20% with most energy used creating heat and noise in the engine itself and friction with the road surface.

Bells do not help much either as it's usually sudden random pedestrian behaviour that causes problems, in these situations the only thing you can do is scream and take immediate evasive action or hit the pedestrian - no time to "ting ting" on a bell!

If I see a pedestrian looking a bit dreamy as though they're about to step in front of me I just shout "coming through"/"'scuse me", that often works...

WildBill said...

I used to take the train but the number of idiots on board, plus the same trains being delayed every day with the same excuses being given ("signal failure") made me decide to start taking the 172 bus. It's heaven. I have to leave earlier but it's so much more relaxed and reliable.

The only thing I get irritated about on the bus are people who sit in the window seat and purposefully try and take up most of the aisle seat as well so as not have anyone sat next to them. A quick elbow in the ribs normally sorts this out though.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I settled on the 172 to get to work when I couldn't cycle. It gets caught in traffic and takes a while sometimes and of course because it's a bus it sometimes wouldn't come for ages, but generaly it was reliable and I always got a seat and could happily read my book or gaze out of the window

Tina said...

I hate people who won't budge to allow other people on "their" train. I find a little shouting of the "can you move down PLEASE" variety usually sorts any problems out :-)

Hyps said...

I hate commuting by train AND I have bought a bike. Quite scared to actually ride it to work!

If anyone could give me any pointers on a relatively short journer (Brockley to Borough tube Station) I'd be grateful.

Oh and the worse times at Brockley are usually the trains the between 8.26 and 8.47 (in my opinion anyway).

spincat said...

Re the 'Move down the train' shouting. Yes, I agree there are people who are very selfish, but many cases the idea that there is masses of un-utilised space further down the train is an illusion. Looking in from outside the train you will see what I mean - you see the crush round the doors and visually compare it to the areas where the seats are. There is actually only limited standing room there unless actually stand on someone's lap. You can only really see what I mean if you look in at a crowded train.

Anyway that is not something I plan to do any more as I am boycotting them. The overcrowding and the 40% season ticket rise is too much.

bg said...

Someone mentioned it taking under an hour to walk from Telegraph Hill to London Bridge - sounds good - what's your route? I'm actualy over between Brockley Road and Lewisham Way - so if anyone else knows of any a) quick b) scenic (in that order) walking routes from this kind of area into either London Bridge or Westminster I'd be very grateful if they could post them. I want to execise rather than train/tube to work, but am too much of a wimp to cycle until proper, comprehensive, dedicated cycle lanes are built (here's hoping...)

Anonymous said...

Hyps

I cycle Brockley to the Elephant several mornings a week & would be pleased to show you my route (mostly backroads and brockwell park)

When I am not running or cycling I take the 172 - fine going into town but a nightmare coming back . . .

On the topic of cyclists . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAOHhV1EFe4

patrick1971 said...

I'm a pedestrian, neither a driver nor a cyclist, and I'll happily say that I think seemingly kamikaze pedestrians are one of the biggest hazards on the road. I get the train in to Charing Cross each day, and on that crossing outside over the Strand it is just incredible the number of people who walk straight out, and then seem startled when nearly hit by a car. It's only because the traffic is going so slowly that they're not hit more often. I do wonder what part of a red light they're struggling to understand. It's awful when you're standing at the front of the crowd waiting, as you can feel this psychological desire from the rest of the mob to just walk out almost pushing you physically forward!

WildBill - even worse than the "sit by the window with bags on the seat" is the "sit in the aisle with bags by the window". This is one of the things that really winds me up about public transport users. Why are you doing this? Do you WANT someone to have to walk all over you to get to a seat? Is it really so horrible that you might have to share a seat with another person for 20 minutes? Who gave you the right to grab two whole seats for yourself? The whole attitude of people who do this just screams, "fuck off, these are MY seats and don't DARE try and sit in one of them". Seen across the social spectrum IME, and often even in peak time! Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Hello all, am new to this forum but felt compelled to post on the back of Patrick's bike comment about commuters who block the road for cyclists and stand up for commuters! (The rest of the comments made me laugh - so true!)

I am sure you people aren't one of the bike rider people I am just about to describe but after braving the horrendous train journey to work morning and night (and shouting the obligatory 'move down the flipping carriage PLEEEASSSE lady with the curly hair / man with the grey coat etc' to actually get on the train there is nothing worse than encountering a cyclist on the next part of your journey on the final part of the journey that is the walk to work who thinks they have the right to ride down the road faster than a car, ring their bell madly and shout at anyone crossing the road! I work in the city and walking near Bank, EVERY morning seem to either personally nearly get knocked over and yelled at or witness it happen to a fellow pedestrian by some psycho cyclist going 40 miles an hour who gets annoyed that a pedestrian is in 'his or her' road as how dare we cross to get to the other side!! I think cyclists like this certainly give the majority of cyclists a bad name and make people a little more 'pushy' when trying to cross the road due to insane idiots like this! I also can't bear cyclists who try and squeeze onto a peak time train with a non-folding bike (against the rules) and then tut when commuters try and climb over their dirty wheels to get on...agh!!

To be honest, London is a great city but weeks like the ones just passed with crammed trains, arrogant commuters who barge into you and refuse to shuffle in one cm to let someone else on the train to get to work (it's only fair!!) and bring their non-folding bikes onto trains just make me want to run back to the countryside and open a shop to save my rising blood pressure morning and night and leave London!

Sorry, rant over!

Torres said...

Brockley is bad in the morning at a certain time but I used to live in Hither Green and it was terrible for most of the rush hour. What's most frustrating is seeing half empty trains from somewhere further out come trundling past without stopping.

Anonymous said...

Torres, I live in Hither Green and it's a fab service but sometimes it is just terrible. The last week just gone was the worst HG station has had in a long while - some insane train person made the decision to send one of the popular peak morning trains to the station with just 4 carriages. Much elbowing and pushing was done by many to leave most of us remaining on the platform just shaking our heads. I hear Brockley is the same though...

Torres said...

I find Brockley (relatively) okay as long as it's not anywhere near 8.00-8.30, then it's a mare. HG is fine when it's good but any whiff of a problem and the people would build and build and often I'd end up getting a really late train like 9.30ish...

spincat said...

I try to feel love for all cyclists - most are fine

but

the one on a racing bike,
who was cycling the *wrong way* along that
one-way street by Crofton Park station,

who appeared at unbelievable speed from behind a white van

who had the nerve to shout abuse at me
(bad luck, you missed, lycra man)

.. well, just let me say that when I am 80 I shall take great pleasure in sitting on my porch with a very long pokey stick and a good eye for the gap in the wheel....

As for bags on seats, I just tell them that "I don't want to sit here either but circumstances have forced us together".

fabhat said...

For finding good walking routes there is a great website called walkit.com - well worth a look for plotting new routes - and if you have a good one - you can submit it too...

patrick1971 said...

"I don't want to sit here either but circumstances have forced us together".

Love it, spincat. I'll listen out for someone saying that now!

Anonymous said...

Nick I could not agree more with your post. I'm always dismayed to see other people tutting and glaring at some poor guy trying to squeeze on to the train. Can't we all be a bit more civilised and make some room; we're all on the way to work, and I'm sure we'd all quit the morning commute tomorrow if we could.
As for women being worse offenders: can we really claim to be surprised? Women are generally less able to abide by a set of implicit rules governing behaviour in a specific situation, ie workplace, train, etc.

Anonymous said...

My approach to commuter rudeness is a very loud, very false-sounding, "I am SO SORRY, MIGHT it POSSIBLY be ok if i just try and " sit here / board this train /etc --talk far too much, too loudly and evenutally kill 'em with politeness. (With the bag-on-the-seat trick, its "Oh, is someone sitting here? Ah, you see I thought your companion might be in the toilets? No? You're sure its ok? Ok then!"). They get a bit embarassed or just look horrified at the sound of my loud US accent, and move the hell out of my way. Works every time.

NB BrocklyNick: not sure if anon @15.29's misogynism is laughable enough to stay up, or might need to be moderated into oblivion?? Your call.

Anonymous said...

Moderate it/leave it, just let's not feed the troll.

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