Mind The Crap

By london_euan Last edited 159 months ago
Mind The Crap

undergroundworkers.jpgPlans have been announced to begin looking at the Tube running later on Friday and Saturday nights in a shock move where customer demand may actually be met.

Of course, it's not as simple as that because this results in opening later the next day so that overnight maintenance work will still get its alloted amount of time, and this could have a detrimental effect on weekend workers.

It's a tough call: happy drunk people or annoyed morning commuters?

We're siding with the happy drunk people, if you're going to work at 7am on a Saturday chances are you're already going to be pissed off and should be considered a lost cause.

It's not like both groups could be appeased, as it's important that this necessary maintenance work is carried out and they are clearly working hard within tight deadlines...or so you'd think.

London Underground's Managing Director Tim O'Toole has some fairly clear opinions about the level of work performed by the private firms running the tubes infrastructure, that he's choosen to express through an extended military metaphor "These guys are supposed to be the cavalry but so far, they're the same world-weary infantry we saw under London Underground".

More importantly he also believes that they are "only using 30% of available time for engineering work", so then why can't they find a couple of hours to accomodate a change in running time?

Well according to the chief executive of Metronet, John Weight, these criticisms are "complete crap".

So that's that cleared up then.

Last Updated 21 February 2005


Of course, nobody in London underground has the balls to do what Madrid Metro did, namely, close a couple of lines for a month and a half over August and september and have 24 hour crews doing a complete makeover of the lines.

The announced it with plenty of advance notice, they put in plenty of replacement busses, and while there were a few disgruntled workers, the lines were a lot better off for it. They finished on time, despite the rather wooly "the lines will reopen mid-september". They only shut down for the essential stuff like extending platforms and relaying track; they're still doing the cosmetic makeover of the stations (new walls, new signage, etc) overnight.

It would probably piss less people off in the long run, given that half the tube system isn't working Saturday mornings at the moment anyway.


It's not a question of annoyed commuters. "Commuters" don't start work at 6am, 7am, 8am. It's low paid workers. Cleaners. People who work in hospitals, other public services. Which is better for London - happy drunk people or hospital workers and cleaners.

Get a grip. Don't be flippant. This is serious.


Actually the point was more that there's a serious dicrepancy between what each arm of the underground are saying and it's ultimately the consumer that pays the price - drunk or under paid, and a poor attempt at levity doesn't mean that we don't consider it serious. Hopefully more clarity will come out of the public consultation phase but we wont be holding our breath.


"We're siding with the happy drunk people, if you're going to work at 7am on a Saturday chances are you're already going to be pissed off and should be considered a lost cause."

Key workers are a lost cause? It seems quite simple. If the tube needs to be closed for a certain amount of time every day (which is, of course, another argument entirely) then they cannot run too much later.

I wouldn't say this was a poor attempt at levity - it completely missed the point of the potential implications of this for our city.


Mark, do you mind if I butt in here a second

In my opinion, it doesn't really matter whether you open the tube late or early, 'key workers' are going to be disadvantaged either way. And I think if that's your argument then the London Assembly and TfL are just going to point you in the direction of the city's "comprehensive 24 hour bus service".

The only way you're going to solve that problem is get a 24hr tube service in placed, which I think we can all agree is a long way off (if at all, thanks to penny-pinching at the early stages of the tube's development).

On a side note, in my experience 'commuters' do tend to start work as early as 7 or 8 because if they're travelling a long way they'd prefer to get up with the birds and get home in time to see their kids before they go to bed (or go to the pub).

Finally, I think what Euan was pointing out was that whatever the final decision in this matter the infrastructure to make it happen is really not in place due to infighting and a lack of funding. Which kind of makes a jokr of the whole process.

Inspector Sands

Rob, did you read what Mark said?

"Commuters" don't start work at 6am, 7am, 8am. It's low paid workers.

Have you ever been on public transport heading into town between 5-7am on *any* morning of the week?


IS - Yes I read what Mark said and my argument was that commuters *do* travel that early as well as 'low paid workers'.

I'm not going to answer your other question here becasue it strikes me as a bit irrelevent and that you're trying to make this discussion 'personal' - but if you want to email me (rob.hinchcliffe@gmail.com) then I'll happily respond.