London's Commuters: Travel Chaos 'A Disgrace'

By BethPH Last edited 39 months ago
London's Commuters: Travel Chaos 'A Disgrace'

Photo by Andy Thornley in the Londonist Flickr pool

Commuters using Brixton station are facing months of delays and overcrowding as escalator work resumes today.

One of Brixton station's three escalators is being refurbished, which takes it out of action until July. Twitter user @walkerij complained of  huge crowds, while @mpezet branded TfL's planning 'a disgrace', saying a lack of crowd control meant people trying to get into the station were spilling into the road.

Victoria line commuters at Brixton faced similar crowds last November when another escalator was being refurbished. Brixtonblog has come up with a handy guide on alternative travel arrangements.

Meanwhile, trains for Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge until August 2016, while Southern have confirmed that their reduced service will continue until at least this Friday.

Last week, passengers at London Bridge complained about severe overcrowding at the station and delays to train services. We wondered if TfL's advice about alternative travel may have sunk in as our trip in this morning was (relatively) problem-free. Not everyone was so lucky though — one Southern passenger complained of a whole train of people being dumped one station before London Bridge.

Euston also appears to be suffering this morning, with cancellations and delays of around 30 minutes due to safety checks on the line between Watford and Milton Keynes.

London's bus users also face delays on Tuesday, when a 24 hour strike by bus drivers will take place. Now would be a good time to work from home.

Last Updated 12 January 2015


I guess if you pull together lots of disparate incidents across the entire travel network - including even non-TFL services in the case of Euston issues - and you can bring together a narrative. Nothing brings Londoners together in unity than a good moan.

AND... I'll join in. Kings Cross was a bit crazy this morning. Apparantly the "Normal Service On All Lines" means not being let down onto the platform and, when you are, all the signs say "Delayed". I was soon on the move though.


The challenge is - when you're investing to renew infrastructure that has been massively underinvested in for decades, there is inevitably going to be some disruption.

In the case of Brixton - what more could TfL be doing to minimise disruption? If you accept the fact that the escalators need to be renewed, then is there really much more TfL *could* be doing?

Would people prefer that TfL just made the station exit only throughout the works, to ease crowding, or to close the station altogether for two months and do all the escalators in one go? Because those are really the only other options....


Reducing ticket sale capacity by closing the ticket office has worsened congestion in the morning peak as everyone is forced to use the ticket machines.