I’ll be honest with you, I am not the biggest fan of TFL. Comparatively, with other metro schemes across the world, the standard of service is exceptionally poor. With long delays and drivers supplied with a book full of excuses to use at random, it’s not exactly leading the world by example. Couple this with the exorbitant cost of the daily rat race, and it soon becomes very clear that Londoners are being taken for a ride – a very cramped and expensive one.
This week the Piccadilly line has had “minor delays” across the entire line (and by “minor delays” I mean that the every 3-5 minute service has had 15 minute gaps between trains). The reason for this… Health and Safety! The wheels on a large number of carriages need to be fixed immediately.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not want to be on a tube that has a faulty anything, especially damaged wheels, but let’s not pretend that taking hundreds of trains out of service, couldn’t have been foreseen. Perhaps a weekly schedule of ten trains a week? Or a rolling rota of work throughout the year? This level of a reduced service is unacceptable.
Because these supposed transport expert companies have a monopoly, we the people have very little say in the running of the lines. We are forced to experience shoddier and shoddier service, with more and more people everyday.
I tried to vote with my feet. During the last spate of pointless strikes, I swiftly realised that it would be quicker to make the 2 hour run into work, than it would be to try and utilise the four buses that it would take me to get in. I was right. My colleague took 2 hours and 40 minutes from the same tube stop. It took me 1 hour and 57 minutes.
The problem is, that to hit TFL where it hurts (in their pockets) it would take the whole of London to stop using the sorry excuse for a transport system. All of us would need to stick it out, like their drivers do. I just don’t think we have it in us!
No amount of apologies from the TFL bigwigs will make this ok. It has been a massive oversight, and they should be held accountable by refunding everyone who has been subject to this unacceptable service.
I have not experienced the appalling state of affairs from train lines south of London (small mercies) but again the government need to interject and fix the plight of hundreds of thousands of commuters and offer them compensation for the agony of just trying to make a living.
Too long have we sat by and done nothing.
We are approaching the annual price increase, and we will be held to ransom by companies that cannot organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery. I call for an immediate freeze in pricing until TFL go a year without having to even up the gaps in the service, (simple solution – travel at the correct speed, then no “evening up” will be required) Without signal failure at Acton Town (hint hint – maybe prioritise looking at the signals at Acton Town) and without the dot matrixes signalling the wrong destination of a train. In short, deliver a service that most other countries are already managing and then maybe think about repricing.
I just hope the wheels are fixed soon – otherwise the festive season could go into meltdown.
I love the history of our Tube Network, I am a fan. I just wish it would go back to what made it great rather than my money lining the pockets of the dimwits in charge and funding the Christmas bonuses.
I wrote this post on my delayed and extended journey to work, the 34 minute journey took 1 hour and 3 minutes.