Write A Travel Etiquette Poem For TfL Travel Better Competition

By BethPH Last edited 39 months ago
Write A Travel Etiquette Poem For TfL Travel Better Competition

travel betterEver had the pique about feet on the seat? Felt bitter over dropping of litter? Transport for London is urging passengers to get creative and write a travel etiquette poem as part of its latest Travel Better London campaign.

The passenger who pens the best poem will see their rhyme and a cartoon version of themselves in a special campaign poster on tubes and buses across the capital. See last year's winners here.

Poems should be 4-6 lines long and feature one of the bugbears below:

  • litter left on the tube, bus, trains and in stations
  • pulling the passenger alarm unnecessarily and passengers falling ill on trains
  • holding the train doors open
  • moving down the platform
  • moving down inside to allow room for others
  • putting feet on seats
  • ensuring priority seats are offered to those who need them.

TfL says that last year there were 430 hours of delays as a result of passenger actions like these, and changing just a few of them can help make commuting a nicer experience for everyone.

The Travel Better London poetry competition runs from Monday 16 February until Sunday 1 March 2015. Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/writeapoem to enter.

See also:

Tube Etiquette Posters, In The Words Of The Great Poets

11 Trivial Things What Make Londoners Really Angry

Last Updated 16 February 2015

Theo Drane

Sadly I wrote this before I realised the line limit:


There is a way in which someone here today,
Between the crowd and doors and bags,
Will profoundly alter the life you lead.

There is little doubt, the day will come, when you will owe a debt to them.
Their actions, perhaps routine, will alter you.
There will be a connection, a bond and a duty.

There are stories that could be written, with the person to your right.
There is a sanctuary you share with the human on your left.
In the gaze you catch, lies experiences you will never know.

Remember who you travel with.
These are shared moments.
These are shared spaces.

Mark Burrell

Important bugbear has been left out:

Escalators on the left
folk should be moving as a stream.
Those folk on the right
It is ok to stand and dream.

Edward Evans

I hate these poems with a vigorous passion
They make me want to stand up and take action
Patronizing and with a meaning that's hazy
They must have been designed for a world that's gone crazy.

Why can't you just say "Stop!"
or "Don't block the doors!"
Why do you have to talk to us
as though we were four?

...Could someone continue with this please?

Ben Williams-Thomas

Dear passenger please consider what might be on your shoe!
The remains of someone's pizza or some stinking doggy-do!
So please think of other before you rest your feet
However tempting it may be DON'T PUT THEM ON THE SEAT!


Aww I didn't realise it had to be about specific topics, here's mine anyway:

A jam packed train, and it’s time to alight,
You can’t reach the door, try as you might.
Don’t worry just yet, no need to fear,
You might not be the only one getting off here,
When you reach your stop, take a look around,
If no one moves, then make a sound!


Right... and your recompense for writing their advertising copy for them, is... what exactly?


My 10 year old wrote this before realising the topics:

If you're going on a train
try not to be such a pain
and play your music way too loud
because people can hear it all around
it might be fun for you to hear
but it might not be like to hear by another ear
so turn the volume down a bit
and try not to get in a fit
because people will thank you for their peace and quiet indoors



Next time you need to take a load off your feet
please don't spread your legs into an extra seat

You can manspread all you like if you're driving your car
but on the tube or the bus its a transport faux pas

You don't have to sit cross-legged or with limbs jammed together
but there's no need to splay your legs out in an obtrusive manner

no-one believes you need to because of what's inbetween dangling
and your sitting down plié cramps who's next to you travelling

So man-up dudes and next time check your knees
aren't invading your neighbour's seating space please

If you consider a less obtuse leg angle so out of hand
Sit someplace else fellas ....or stand


I thought that there was supposed to be a category about passengers who put their feet on the seats. The competition needs to be extended after this grave error is rectified.

Eva Deniz

I am 10 years old and I missed the deadline :(

while travelling on the train, please don't forget your brain,
keep your feet to yourself as others don't need to be felt!
take papers which are yours - stand away from the doors,
give up seats to those in need don't give in to your greed,
put little ones on your lap and please, please MIND THE GAP!


I only saw the ad for the poetry competition 2 days after it closed! Wrote mine on the journey:
When travelling by Tube or train it's good to exercise your brain;
A poem or an essay write and finish it ere you alight.
Please stand aside; let people off! And catch your germs if moved to cough!
Get up should someone need to sit; when strap-hanging watch rank armpit!
And, as to fresh air you ascend, stand on the right; let people wend
Their way about old London town; you'll cause a smile, not start a frown.


When in a hurry do not push and scurry or suffer a bag in the face.

Please give up to others like our future young mothers or your feel karmas full embrace.

Do not share your great music as people can confuse with screech down the chalk whiteboard.

Use patience to travel as speed can unravels
just sit back enjoy the ride.