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View Full Version : London Underground, arggghhh.


Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 07:44 AM
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?

Ashi
Oct 2nd, 2011, 07:50 AM
Wasn't the layout of routes planned a century ago?

matthias
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:17 AM
well, i was visiting London twice, and i had no trouble
but maybe im just a bit more relaxed then you

Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:32 AM
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?

matthias
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:41 AM
maybe it got worse the last 3 years
because i was 2008 the last time in London

Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:52 AM
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!

~Cherry*Blossom~
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:53 AM
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.

Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:21 AM
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.

duhcity
Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:26 AM
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

Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:39 AM
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.

nevetssllim
Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:39 AM
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.

rockyhorrorfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:19 AM
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.

Halardfan
Oct 2nd, 2011, 08:40 PM
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.

tennislover
Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:36 PM
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....

Vincey!
Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:16 PM
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.

MH0861
Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:32 PM
I quite liked it compared to NYC's subway in general, but absolutely ridiculous how early it closes and how it operates on holidays :lol:

Crazy Canuck
Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:06 PM
The Moscow Metro manages to be too hot at all times of the year, which is a fairly impressive feat. Other than that, it's mostly fine.

I've never been to London, so my post really has very little to do with this thread.

Dave.
Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:33 PM
I've been living in Stoke on Trent for a week and I'm crying out for the Underground or even London's buses (which I never thought I'd do). I never appreciated how easy it is to just hop on a train and not have to wait 30-60 mins for a bus every time I want to go somewhere (and then have the bus wait for 5-10 mins at each stop :mad:). I seriously don't know how people get by with these 'First buses'.

Anyway, the only real problem I have with the Underground is the prices. Other than that it's a pretty good service most of the time. Everyone has a bad experience but most of the time it's fine and even when there are problems there are almost always ways round it.

*JR*
Oct 3rd, 2011, 12:20 AM
If Mayor Boris had to take the tube to work on weekdays, the service might be better. ;)

So vote the big blond mophead toff out of office next year! :rocker:

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00040/boris-johnson-replac_40647t.jpg

Mary Cherry.
Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:22 AM
I've been living in Stoke on Trent for a week and I'm crying out for the Underground or even London's buses (which I never thought I'd do). I never appreciated how easy it is to just hop on a train and not have to wait 30-60 mins for a bus every time I want to go somewhere (and then have the bus wait for 5-10 mins at each stop :mad:). I seriously don't know how people get by with these 'First buses'.

4tIv3Z64HCI

Edward.
Oct 3rd, 2011, 02:15 PM
My biggest complaint is how ludicrously expensive it is nowadays. Boris has gone too far with his rises on ticket and oysters fees, especially when the network shows no notable signs of improvement.

If Ken makes a firm promise to lower fees if he is elected, then I'll be voting to give Boris the boot next year.

Kart
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:32 PM
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.

To be honest, this is fairly standard for a weekend - there's loads of line closures at the moment. If you were going during the week then that's bad luck but it's worth remembering that London has a very able bus network and many journeys can be re-routed easily if you're willing to walk a bit and have an A-Z.

Not that that would have helped the example you've given above I accept.

Halardfan
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:42 PM
To be honest, this is fairly standard for a weekend - there's loads of line closures at the moment. If you were going during the week then that's bad luck but it's worth remembering that London has a very able bus network and many journeys can be re-routed easily if you're willing to walk a bit and have an A-Z.

Not that that would have helped the example you've given above I accept.

It's just it was a belated honeymoon and I wanted everything to be perfect and I planned everything out, mapping out departure and arrival stations, in relation to every major attraction, buying Oyster cards in advance.

Too often things became chaotic because of the underground. For example I was going on a journey back to our hotel, aiming to change at Holborn. But literally as we were stepping on the train it said Holborn station was now closed. Meaning I had to find another route on the fly. Straightforward for Londoners, but an inconvenience for a visitor. Then at our rerouted station the train we wanted never came. So we had to walk through dark and unfamiliar London streets back to our hotel. It was frightening and frustrating in equal measure.

Londoner
Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:48 PM
Kings Cross is hell on earth! Also, never use the Northern or Central lines. The Northern is dirty,mold and full of smog and bad air. If you can stick to the Jubilee line - fast, clean, smart and reliable.

By the way, the train drivers have just reached a pay deal meaning they will get 50,000 per annum! In a recession with cutbacks! When it's common knowledge that many trains are computer driven and drivers are prettynmuch there to reassure passengers!

Halardfan
Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:11 PM
Kings Cross is hell on earth! Also, never use the Northern or Central lines. The Northern is dirty,mold and full of smog and bad air. If you can stick to the Jubilee line - fast, clean, smart and reliable.

By the way, the train drivers have just reached a pay deal meaning they will get 50,000 per annum! In a recession with cutbacks! When it's common knowledge that many trains are computer driven and drivers are prettynmuch there to reassure passengers!

It's the disparity between the wonderful museums, sights, parks that London offers, and the grim, unreliable underground that links them. It undermines the experience for a tourist. Better to visit a much smaller city with plenty of attractions, like York...

Or Levy
Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:36 PM
I was in London November last year, during the STRIKE for the ATP WTF, And I was so impressed how the subway was running, considering. Yes, I had to do several detours, but when I compare it to Israel's public transportation system (no public transportation on weekends (midday Friday- evening Saturday)...

Been to NY for the USO, and there were closures/trains skipping stops due to constructions on the weekends and on nights as well.

VishaalMaria
Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:19 PM
The trains are fine, it's the people that annoy me.

Edward.
Oct 4th, 2011, 12:37 AM
Kings Cross is hell on earth!

Absolutely agree with this, I despise the redesign of the station that has taken place over the last couple of years. Its now just an endless barrage of white walls and multiple exits and it seems horrendously cramped compared to how the station used to be.

There are times when I'm in there that I feel like a contestant in the Crystal Maze.

Valanga
Oct 4th, 2011, 01:06 AM
The price is the only thing i bitch about.

propi
Oct 4th, 2011, 07:21 AM
That's why when visiting Madrid or Barcelona a become a believer again :lol:
May God bless Madrid and Barcelona's underground :worship: (although with some little exceptions :p)

Londoner
Oct 4th, 2011, 12:22 PM
If Mayor Boris had to take the tube to work on weekdays, the service might be better. ;)

So vote the big blond mophead toff out of office next year! :rocker:

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00040/boris-johnson-replac_40647t.jpg

True! ken used to get the Tube and my dad used to see Michael Foot on the No 24 bus!

Boris only got in because of Ken's proposed Comgestion Charge extension and increase for big cars. He has been proved right as Boris has increased fares to compensate. Disgraceful. Anyway, hopefully Ken will get in again if he stands.

TheBoiledEgg
Oct 4th, 2011, 05:11 PM
had a bit of a prob when i went this yr when i went to Wimbledon. Tube Only went as far as Parsons Green so had to get a rail replacement bus which took 30 mins to get to Southfields (would have been 5 mins on tube)
before that its always been good.

only other complaint is effing price, at least on way back i didnt have to pay anything.

Talula
Oct 4th, 2011, 05:28 PM
This thread is amusing! My father travelled on business a lot and I have lived in New York, Utrecht and Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid and Berlin. I am settled in London for a while now and won't hear a word said against it, despite it's irritations. It is by far, given it's size, the easiest and speediest city to get around. And, as they say, if you don't like it, don't come!!!

What amuses me most is people moaning about London, but we have more people from all over the world visiting and living here and loving it than anywhere I have lived! Our current neighbours are American, Russian, Japanese, Indian and Chinese. And I don't know what has happened, but in the 2 years there are Spanish all over the place! I was I. Eastbourne 2 weeks ago and I swear there were more Spanish there than Madrid!!

I love the International feel of London and SE England. So stop moaning!

Talula
Oct 4th, 2011, 05:36 PM
It's just it was a belated honeymoon and I wanted everything to be perfect and I planned everything out, mapping out departure and arrival stations, in relation to every major attraction, buying Oyster cards in advance.

Too often things became chaotic because of the underground. For example I was going on a journey back to our hotel, aiming to change at Holborn. But literally as we were stepping on the train it said Holborn station was now closed. Meaning I had to find another route on the fly. Straightforward for Londoners, but an inconvenience for a visitor. Then at our rerouted station the train we wanted never came. So we had to walk through dark and unfamiliar London streets back to our hotel. It was frightening and frustrating in equal measure.

Oh dear, you Pre-planned. I am a plan freak and have learned it always leads to disappointment!

London is a huge city and it takes a while to get used to getting around, but it's a doodle when you get used to it. I'm sorry you found the streets frightening, but London is very safe compared to many cities. We are so highly populated because so many people want to be here and it does make it crowded sometimes, but if you ask someone they will nearly always help you.

LoveFifteen
Oct 4th, 2011, 07:26 PM
When I was in London in December 2010, the service was fine. The price, however, was shocking. I'm not sure how the lower and middle classes afford the Underground.

Edward.
Oct 4th, 2011, 07:42 PM
When I was in London in December 2010, the service was fine. The price, however, was shocking. I'm not sure how the lower and middle classes afford the Underground.

Yeah, indeed!

I went out to Islington last Friday for drinks with a few friends and I put on a fiver on my oyster before the journey (I only had about 30p remaining). I can virtually always be guaranteed to make a return journey from zone 4 to 1 and back with that much.

Not so Friday night. Try to go through the barrier at Angel tube station at the end of the night and can't. Go to the oyster machine and I only have about a pound left on my oyster. Apparently the initial journey had cost about 4. I had to top up again.

Pure insanity.

~Cherry*Blossom~
Oct 4th, 2011, 08:07 PM
Anyone complaining about Kings Cross needs to go to Victoria. The worst train station ever. The fact that you have to queue to get into the underground is ridiculous, especially for a station that busy. Luckily I only had to go to Victoria once (staying at my friend's house in croydon and missing the london bridge train at East croydon station). However, according to people I know, it happens every week day. Seriously disgusting!

Kings Cross looks much nicer now, although walking through it is so confusing. Not how I remember it from back in 2004/2005.

nevetssllim
Oct 4th, 2011, 08:13 PM
I thought the all-day travelcards were quite reasonably priced...

Monica_Rules
Oct 4th, 2011, 08:14 PM
As much as i dislike London. I've never had much trouble with the Underground. I quite like it actually

Halardfan
Oct 4th, 2011, 08:50 PM
About weekends...am I to understand that the shutting down of several lines at a time is a regular thing? It's certainly what I encountered.

Maybe they are trying to get it ready for the Olympics. But I think it will surface during the Olympics. The problems are too frequent not to.

A question about customer service in shops, restauraunts...my feeling is that people are warmer in the north of England. Of course I'm biased, but I was staggered by the rudeness of some waiters, shop assistants.

Maybe I have been spoilt by the sublime customer service in Japan. But I find Northern England much friendlier too.

Edward.
Oct 4th, 2011, 09:00 PM
About weekends...am I to understand that the shutting down of several lines at a time is a regular thing? It's certainly what I encountered.


Yes, because of engineering works. And they have been going on for a very, very long time now.

I personally believe they will cost Boris the election next year.

Talula
Oct 4th, 2011, 10:31 PM
Yeah, indeed!

I went out to Islington last Friday for drinks with a few friends and I put on a fiver on my oyster before the journey (I only had about 30p remaining). I can virtually always be guaranteed to make a return journey from zone 4 to 1 and back with that much.

Not so Friday night. Try to go through the barrier at Angel tube station at the end of the night and can't. Go to the oyster machine and I only have about a pound left on my oyster. Apparently the initial journey had cost about 4. I had to top up again.

Pure insanity.

Rubbish.

There is a maximum fare for a whole days travel on an Oyster. And it's no more than you had on your card.

You sound like a right benefits scroumging whimgeimg wannabe victim. Get a job.

Talula
Oct 4th, 2011, 10:33 PM
As much as i dislike London. I've never had much trouble with the Underground. I quite like it actually

Piss off back to Wales then. it's dead exciting there!

Talula
Oct 4th, 2011, 10:35 PM
I thought the all-day travelcards were quite reasonably priced...

They are.

We have benefits brigade whingeing on here. ;)

watchdogfish
Oct 4th, 2011, 10:38 PM
Anyone complaining about Kings Cross needs to go to Victoria. The worst train station ever. The fact that you have to queue to get into the underground is ridiculous, especially for a station that busy. Luckily I only had to go to Victoria once (staying at my friend's house in croydon and missing the london bridge train at East croydon station). However, according to people I know, it happens every week day. Seriously disgusting!

Kings Cross looks much nicer now, although walking through it is so confusing. Not how I remember it from back in 2004/2005.

Victoria is awful. They had closed the tube station on Saturday cos of flooding on the platform then yesterday they had the same problem again!

On the whole I think the tube is ok, some lines are more efficient than others, though.

Halardfan
Oct 5th, 2011, 12:18 AM
Piss off back to Wales then. it's dead exciting there!

That's the London Underground welcome I know and love!

Seriously it's not a chance to bash London or Britain...there's loads of times I fight our corner in these parts. I enjoyed very much many of the places in London I visited, the hugely impressive museums, lovely parks, amazing churches. Simply the underground undermined the visit to a degree that I didn't find acceptable. The odd journey disruption is fine. But the majority of my planned journeys were disrupted to a greater or lesser extent, and that shouldn't be good enough.

*JR*
Oct 5th, 2011, 12:32 AM
Seriously it's not a chance to bash London or Britain...there's loads of times I fight our corner in these parts.

Indeed; Gerry Adams and I were just discussing how to "deal with you". :boxing:

Edward.
Oct 5th, 2011, 12:44 AM
Rubbish.

There is a maximum fare for a whole days travel on an Oyster. And it's no more than you had on your card.

You sound like a right benefits scroumging whimgeimg wannabe victim. Get a job.

Excuse me? That was a joke, right?

http://www.milesfaster.co.uk/images/fares/oyster/oyster-caps-bus-tube-2010.gif

The daily cap on a zone 1-4, if you can read that, is now 10.00 per day at peak, well over what was taken off my card, so go and shove your copy of the Daily Mail up your ass you ignorant, brainless Neanderthal.

AdeyC
Oct 12th, 2011, 01:34 PM
When I was in London in December 2010, the service was fine. The price, however, was shocking. I'm not sure how the lower and middle classes afford the Underground.

Used to live and work in London in the '90's and it was generally fine.

Earlier this year drove up to London to visit folks and then went into town to see a show with them by train and then underground = 4 for the underground, and it was only two stops which I'd have walked if I'd been on my own. Used to be something like 60p.

hdfb
Oct 12th, 2011, 02:00 PM
Loved it when I went to UK for Wimbledon. Trains in Melbourne and public transport overall is much worse and our network is ten times smaller with less frequent services.

Monica_Rules
Oct 12th, 2011, 03:07 PM
Piss off back to Wales then. it's dead exciting there!

I beg your pardon. Just because i don't like London. Get a life mate, might make you a bit happier.

Kart
Oct 13th, 2011, 04:33 PM
They are.

I don't think so.

One day travelcards are overpriced in my opinion. I'd happily pay up to a fiver for a zone 1-4 travelcard but it's more than that which is too much IMHO.

That said, I seem to remember in the old days you could be a travel card from the local newsagent a day or so in advance and was cheaper. I'm not sure if you can do that anymore - Oyster doesn't seem to me to be any more sensible apart from just being more convenient.

I'm old enough to remember when you could get an all day travelcard for 1 ! I guess I'm still clinging onto the past :D.

Mary Cherry.
Oct 13th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Rubbish.

There is a maximum fare for a whole days travel on an Oyster. And it's no more than you had on your card.

You sound like a right benefits scroumging whimgeimg wannabe victim. Get a job.

Piss off back to Wales then. it's dead exciting there!

They are.

We have benefits brigade whingeing on here. ;)


Jeez, at least multi-quote your abusive rants.