Opinion

Why Do People Just STOP At The End Of Escalators?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 7 months ago
Why Do People Just STOP At The End Of Escalators?

You Londoners have a lot of issues. Let the Londonist Agony Aunt deal with your anguish.

Yeah that's right. Keep moving.

Londonist readers asked...

Whenever I'm getting off the end of an escalator, the people in front of me just STOP. What the bloody hell is going on?*

Londonist's agony aunt says...

Many of us will remember that Sadiq Khan's successful 2016 bid for Mayor of London was run largely on eradicating London's 'sudden stoppers'. Unfortunately, alongside air pollution and the housing shortage, the issue of people randomly slamming on the old leg brakes, and dawdling in the most eye-bloody-watering inconceivable of locations, remains a major issue.

It is estimated that at any given time, up to 34% of those using the city's transport network are liable to play this cruel game of 'Escalator Tussauds'. A startling statistic, that demands real change.

Sadiq: pledged to eradicate 'sudden stoppers', did eff all.

To understand how to deal with these living parodies of musical statues, we must understand why they do it in the first instance. It's thought there are a number of possible factors: trying to remember if they blew out that Glade candle in the bathroom this morning. Pausing to work out if the version of Hallelujah that a busker is playing is Buckley/Cohen/Wainwright. But the experts tell us that far and away the biggest reason for people randomly dawdling at the end of escalators, is to piss you — yes YOU personally — off.  

So what, dear afflicted Londonist reader, can you do about it? Well, you tut at them. You tut at them very loudly/middling-loudly indeed. Then you swerve sharply round the offending stopper, like you're an actual speeding car — and hurtle off towards the ticket gate, pretending you're off to a vital meeting with all of the Dragons from Dragons' Den, as opposed to a yoga class which you're actually 15 minutes early for anyway.

That'll learn the bastards.

Got a problem for our Agony Aunt? Email it to hello@londonist.com with the subject line 'Agony Aunt', or write it in the comments below.

*Paraphrased from a selection of Facebook comments

Last Updated 04 April 2018