Saturday, 23 October 2010
I went for a meeting the other day and what potentially should have taken me 35 minutes to traverse the London transport network mutated into an hour and a half debacle to return to work. The typical fault on the line followed by stuck at a red signal was soon joined by excuse after excuse that stopped just short of a desperate tube driver singing a rendition of Buckcherrys’ ”Sorry”. I spoke to an old man who drove trains during the war who used to have to stop and clear incendiary devices off that had landed on the train while driving carefully over parts where bombs devices had destroyed the track... now a leaf or a loose wire is enough to cause pandemonium on a national scale.
Why don’t they just say “we can’t be arsed to fix them and these things are wank”. I felt sorry for the guy who gave up and realised that pissing himself was not an option so decided to take a leak out of one of the doors into the darkness fearing his urine might strike the live rail and turn him instantly into a human ‘frazzle’. I felt even more sorry for the Chilean miner who was potentially also on my train, who after spending 69 days down a particular dank hole decided to get away from it all and head to the most forward thinking city in the world.
It was while I was sat trapped in this dank whole I perused the Underground map that my cogs started whirring. There are a severe lack of disabled options for people to travel across London. In fact if you happen to live in Brixton you can get on... and then stay on for the entirety of the line and finally disembark at Walthamstow. Not being funny but I’m pretty sure that if you lived in Brixton, Walthamstow is probably one of the last places you would ever want to visit.. and vice versa. This journey serves absolutely no purpose, unless however large communities of Disabled people have sprung up over night in these two places.
TFLs argument of course is that the tube network is nearly 200 years old (which pretty much hasn’t been maintained since) and the Victorians were not actually conscious of disabled people’s rights. I think this also opens up an interesting point... why the fuck do we put so much faith in a transport system designed by people who thought they should walk in front of cars, mermaids were real and that wearing a bright red tunic was a fantastic idea for combat dress.
Then come the weekends. Without fail there will be major closures and emergency maintenance. London’s social life grinds to a standstill as people are forced to plot ridiculous routes that leave you feeling like you’ve circumnavigated the globe.
Why the hell do they need to do this at the weekend?, I mean it’s not like a lack of daylight would hinder them maintaining the tube ... why can’t they just fix it at night?
What are people’s obsessions with travelling in dark tunnels miles underground that would serve as inspiration for Dante to write the improved’ Inferno’? Why do we put ourselves through this? Only moles feel passionate about travelling this way. If it’s not broken, cancelled or delayed then nine times of ten it will be rammed. Except for one place... someone pointed out to me that there is a place on the tube carriage that no one knows about. Between the door to the drivers cabin and the pole just in front of it... no one stands there... People can be crushed to death but there is this little pocket where no one goes. Why? Can people not see this or TFL just dominated by S & M practitioners?
If you come to London and wish to retain you sanity, try not to use the overpriced poor man’s rollercoaster that is the tube. Find other ways on transport, buy a blimp, walk or ride a small Shetland pony called Rambo, but for fucks sake don t use these Victorian mole movers.
The only saving grace is that it attracts a better level of clientele than the buses.