The Nice Movement

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 131 months ago
The Nice Movement
Tfl posters

This weekend column is brought to you by the founders of Niceties Tokens, Liz and Pete of Team Nice.

36. In the nicest possible way…

Commuting has got lots of anti-social elements to it – Tfl have just launched this lovely campaign about getting on together – it consists of posters around London stations, and then buried deep right at the back of the wardrobe of the corporate TfL website, so deep in fact that it’s a bit like it’s fallen off its hanger and has a got covered over by old handbags, is this:

There is a strange little short film to watch and a few quotes from Ken – but it all seems a bit lacking in conviction – it is aimed at all of us who commute, but unless you had an unhealthy obsessive hobby in to finding out why people lose their manners on public transport (and there aren’t that many people like me and Pete) there would be no reason or way for you to just stumble across this campaign on their website.

The posters are quite sweet, but so far I have only seen them in the stations, not on the actual tubes, trains and buses. And normal people will surely only think about little things like how loud our iPods are playing and “does that person need my seat?” when we are actually in that situation.

There have always been signs on public transport about priority seating, but they are part of the furniture now, and so we never take notice of them. New posters, like these from this campaign, that don’t overly rely on the iconography from TfL could work a bit better, as there would be less malaise – but even so how often do you read, absorb and action any of the information you see on a poster in a tube carriage?

But something out of the ordinary, when we are trapped in our little routine of catching the 08.21 to London Bridge, we do absorb. The train driver telling a joke, a cute child on the train that talks to everyone, amusing graffiti etc… If you had fun, innocent messages out of their normal places, where the malaise wouldn’t wash over them – that would surely be the best way to remind people of things that they know but have just forgotten, wouldn’t it?

By Liz Akers

Last Updated 24 February 2008