A minor rant

London Transport and I generally have a pretty good relationship. It gets me to work smoothly – most of the time. It gets me home at unearthly hours courtesy of the ever-eccentric night bus. I’m never far away from a bus that will get me somewhere useful.

However…

Have you tried travelling anywhere in London at the weekend? It’s a minefield of entirely closed lines, partially closed lines and shut stations. My line – the newest of the entire network – has had some sort of closure almost every weekend for about two years. It’s got to the point now where you assume it won’t be working, so that when it is it’s a huge excitement. I can’t face looking at the 6 monthly guide for closures any more, it’s far too irritating. Instead, I function on a week-by-week basis, checking the posters when they appear every Monday.

Last night my friend and I uttered audible groans when we spotted this week’s poster – the entire line’s out all weekend – wonderful.

The Jubilee line’s fabulous when it works. When it doesn’t it’s a huge pain and frustration. It’s especially ridiculous that the newest bit (on which I live) is shut so often when it’s barely a decade old. Hmphhh. For your benefit, I’ve just looked at the 6 month pdf and sure enough, it’s closed entirely over Easter and the first May Bank Holiday. We get a weekend’s respite just after Easter (handily, I’ll be out of London) and then it begins again. It’s officially rubbish.

Yesterday, I got to the station after another weekend of closures, to discover that the line was suspended Waterloo-Finchley Road thanks to a ‘defective train at Green Park’. After half an hour of going slowly through 3 stations, we got to Waterloo to discover the line was open again – a relief, but it still made me late when (unusually) I was running early.

In fact, yesterday was just a catalogue of TfL frustration. Emerging from Canada Water (having spotted the weekend closures already) I discovered that its bus station was being dug up – no warning of this happening the night before! The bus station is pretty handy – from right outside the tube, under cover & with great lighting, I can catch one of three buses home which is great after a late night out.

In their wisdom, TfL have moved the bus stops round the corner on to the road about 5mins walk away. Locating the relevant bus numbers on the map, I discovered that my 3 buses were now divided between 2 stops. Reaching the new location, it emerged that whilst near each other, they weren’t quite close enough to run between them depending on which bus appears at the top of the road. To make things worse, one bus begins at that stop and is usually standing there, waiting for its appointed time – if you’re looking up the road for the other buses, you’ve got your back to that one, making it all too easy to miss it should the driver suddenly decide it’s ready. It’s sheer stupidity.

Apologies. Just needed to get that off my chest – thanks.

The world is your Oyster – unless it’s a Saturday or Sunday, obviously.
[Incidentally, this is my new Oyster card holder, courtesy of Doris at Christmas – genius.]

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