London Underground, arggghhh. - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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London Underground, arggghhh.

Just returned from a break in London. Some great individual sights and places there.

But so undermined by the London Underground. Is it always so terrible? How on earth do people who rely on it every day cope? How on earth will it cope with the Olympics?

Time and time again there were disrupted journeys...I don't mind small delays to trains, but by any sensible measure, having multiple lines on the network unavailable at the same time, is not acceptable.

This meant huge detours at best, and left many plans wrecked, even when I left extra early than necessary. Many other countries manage efficient and reliable Underground systems, why should we be so different?

You'd set out each day, see wonderful things, but all interspersed with a pitiful experience on the Underground. It was a toss of a coin whether you'd reach your destination.

Was it just a freak few bad days on the system, or is it always like this?

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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

Wasn't the layout of routes planned a century ago?

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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:17 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

well, i was visiting London twice, and i had no trouble
but maybe im just a bit more relaxed then you

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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthias View Post
well, i was visiting London twice, and i had no trouble
but maybe im just a bit more relaxed then you
It's not about being relaxed...in that kind of situation I am absolutely the last to complain, feel embarrassed to complain.

It wasn't merely a bad service...I'm British, I expect a bad service, tolerate a bad service, factor in delays into my plans. But I'm saying it was a 0/10 dreadful service.

The majority of journeys I undertook on the Underground faced some form of severe delay/total cancellation. That can't be acceptable surely?

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

maybe it got worse the last 3 years
because i was 2008 the last time in London

Something was bound to go right sometime today, All these broken pieces fit together to make a perfect picture of us
It got cold and then dark so suddenly and rained, It rained so hard the two of us were the only thing
That we could see for miles and miles
And in the middle of the flood I felt my worth, When you held onto me like I was your little life raft
Please know that you were mine as well
Drops of water hit the ground like God's own tears
And spread out into shapes like Salad bowls and basins and buckets for bailing out the flood
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

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Originally Posted by matthias View Post
maybe it got worse the last 3 years
because i was 2008 the last time in London
Perhaps you were lucky, perhaps I was particularly unlucky. It was a system that by the end of my time there I had lost complete confidence in, and would never trust again if I have to be at a particular place at a particular time.

We had a much better time in York. Which I strongly recommend. Beautiful city, friendly people, all the attractions within walking distance. No bloody underground!

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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:53 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

lol you're exaggerating. I use it every day for work and other than the fact that it is terrible to use during rush hour (congestion and too hot) it isn't nearly as bad as you make it. Maybe because you live in Japan you're standards are too high. Japan has exceptional public transport, probably the best it the world. Almost any city in the world will look terrible in comparison.

The only bad thing last week was the heat, which was made even worse by being on the underground.

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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

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lol you're exaggerating. I use it every day for work and other than the fact that it is terrible to use during rush hour (congestion and too hot) it isn't nearly as bad as you make it. Maybe because you live in Japan you're standards are too high. Japan has exceptional public transport, probably the best it the world. Almost any city in the world will look terrible in comparison.

The only bad thing last week was the heat, which was made even worse by being on the underground.
Here is an example...I arrived back from Heathrow, and found the lines that would take me directly from Paddington to Kings Cross to be closed. I had a suitcase with me. I rushed to the taxi rank, of course it was chaos there with a queue stretching into the distance. I doubled back to the Underground. I was told to to take the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus then change to the Victoria line to Kings Cross. What was a journey where I expected to arrive in comfortable time, was now a close run thing. So I ran through the stations, case dragging behind me, running flat out. In the end I got to my train at Kings Cross 1 minute before departure, shirt soaked with sweat. If I hadn't run flat out, I simply wouldn't have made it, and would have had to have pay the extortionate amount for a rail fare bought on the day. This kind of experience happened other times during my brief stay. I met with delayed trains, line closures, and stations we weren't allowed to get off at!!! This was one bad experience among other similar ones.

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

It's why I've learned not to hate the MTA too much. Because I always bitch about having to wait 30 minutes for a train at 3am, and it's really not bad in perspective

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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

Every system will have it's problems, I don't expect perfection, just a service that can be relied upon to get me from A to B in reasonable time. Not on time. Just reasonable time. Time and again it failed that test.

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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:39 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halardfan View Post
Here is an example...I arrived back from Heathrow, and found the lines that would take me directly from Paddington to Kings Cross to be closed. I had a suitcase with me. I rushed to the taxi rank, of course it was chaos there with a queue stretching into the distance. I doubled back to the Underground. I was told to to take the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus then change to the Victoria line to Kings Cross.
That's hardly a major diversion, even with a suitcase!

Given how many people use the underground each day, I don't think you can expect everything to be running in pristine fashion. I'm in London quite often and I must say I've never had any major problems with it and on the rare occasions I'm flying to/from London and need to take a train to/from London, I always book for a train which gives me plenty of time to get to my destination as I factor in there might be some delay (there usually isn't). It just makes travelling much more stress-free.

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

It's because you went at the weekend. They schedule their repairs and upgrades for the weekend. During the weekday it's largely fine. Much of the reason they're shutting it down is to increase capacity in time for the Olympics. You've just caught it at the wrong time.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

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It's because you went at the weekend. They schedule their repairs and upgrades for the weekend. During the weekday it's largely fine. Much of the reason they're shutting it down is to increase capacity in time for the Olympics. You've just caught it at the wrong time.
I think we are far too accepting of a bad service.

I have experienced other systems elsewhere, Tokyo's, Osaka's and Munich's. I have never had a single delay or affected journey in any of them, despite spending several months all told in Japan.

I don't for a moment expect a Japanese level service. But the service was much worse than I ever imagined.

In a few days in London I experienced cancellations and diversions to my planned journey again and again. Not only on weekends. On a weekday we missed a scheduled daytrip to the cotswolds due to the delays. We had ton rebook, and took an expensive Taxi the next time around.

I did allow myself reasonable leeway with journeys. But I don't think it reasonable to have to plan simple underground journeys like military operations in order to ensure you reach your destination.

As I say maybe I was just very unlucky...Londoners will know that better than I. But the service I encountered is not any way acceptable.

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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:36 PM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

I went to London on August and I found the Tube system worked quite well.....but maybe it's because here in Southern Italy (where I live) the standard of transport system is quite low....

Anyway consider that London is hugely big and moving across such huge metropolis can't be always easy....


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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: London Underground, arggghhh.

When I was in london couple years ago the tube was fine, there had been a couple of lines that were closed on some weekend because they needed maintenance but it has to be expected in an old underground facilities like that, they have to put all the work in right now to be ready for nxt year as well. Also it's sometimes much quicker and easier to travel by bus in London or even by foot. I know if you came from Heathrow, the tube was the cheapest and easiest way lol but when I used it for there it was really easy and relatively quick.

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