Friday, 23 August 2013

Tube Etiquette we do need it....


What a week! I hope you are looking forward to the long weekend.  I know that I am. 

This morning I was reading some articles online.  I came accross one on the Evening Standard's website which took the words right out of my mouth and I felt I had to share with you all. 

It is all about Tube manners and how we all travel on the tube in London.  Perfect. 

So remember your tube etiquette if you are off to the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend. 

Enjoy it...  Have a great weekend. 


Miss Jones xx 

Here’s a little story about standing space on the London Underground — a commodity as rare as ambergris, as volatile in its supply as Bitcoin and like gold for the complex matrix of associations and high-stakes value judgments in which it is enmeshed.

It happened a couple of weeks ago, at about 8.15am, when I joined a posse of commuters on the platform of Bethnal Green Underground station, waiting for the Central line to take us into town. There were more of us on the platform than usual, so I was about three rows back from the front and didn’t expect to board the next train. As such, I could observe the deeply scarring tragedy that followed with an almost cinematic clarity.

The doors slid open to reveal a heaving knot of bodies worthy of a Francis Bacon — the usual looks of frustration and steadfastness on their reddened faces. Standing elegantly in their midst was a beautiful young woman, clutching her tiny baby while trying to keep hold of the various gubbins of motherhood — a blanket, a bag and a small teddy bear — as a few of my fellow platform-standers squeezed their way on to the train.

Enter the grey-haired man at the front of our group. In that sometimes awkward lull between aggressive pushing and doors closing, the mother dropped the teddy bear to the floor of the train. It nestled precariously near the edge of the carriage. The grey-haired man (standing on the platform) took the initiative and reached inside the carriage, and picked it up to give it to the beautiful woman.

As he did so, the doors slammed shut. The beautiful woman frowned severely through the glass and shook her head as the train pulled away. And left on the platform was an elderly man clutching a child’s teddy bear, a scene that might ordinarily have looked a bit Brideshead Revisited but on this occasion looked — if you will — a bit Top of the Lake. As I say, the stakes are high.

When it comes to personal space on the Tube, I’m firmly in the camp of tweeter @yanthe80schick, who tweeted last week: “No such thing as personal space on the Tube.” Also with us is Izzy Nanja (@That90sChic — what’s going on here?) who tweeted: “This woman face me the dirtiest look for standing next to her on the Tube. It’s public transport, person space does not exist! #Fool.” If you disagree with yanthe80schick, that90schic and me on this, then not only are you a fool but you are also massively out of luck.

A report last week found that 1,700 new carriages being built for commuter services in London and the South-East are designed on the presumption that every square metre can fit four standers on it — less than the space designated for a sheep heading for the slaughterhouse. TfL confirmed to the Standard that standing capacity on the Underground is similarly calculated at four passengers per square metre (a goat weighing between 35kg and 55 kg is supposed to get 0.4 square metres for itself).

The personal space brigade will probably be reading this piece tonight with their copy of the Standard out to full arm’s length — one of the least acceptable space-occupation techniques but by no means the only one. I also loathe: couples who stand with their hands on each other’s shoulders, people who take the prestigious glass/door corner but don’t properly bury themselves in it and people who stand between the seats but don’t move to the middle (about whom I intend to start a dedicated tumblr soon — follow me on @joshiherrmann for updates). In fact, I may be one of the few London commuters whose first thought when I see a shady bloke with an unfeasibly bulky bag on his back is: has this bastard packed his rucksack with stones and cuddly toys just to fashion himself some extra standing space?

With London’s population set to rise from 8.2 million to more than 10 million by 2031, the instinctive, tribal conflict between the prissy personal space activists and the reasonable, pragmatic, busy people who want to get on with their lives will only grow. I’m making team T-shirts.

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