Should TfL End These Anti-Begging Tube Announcements?

M@
By M@

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Should TfL End These Anti-Begging Tube Announcements?

"There are beggars and buskers operating on this train. Please do not encourage their presence by supporting them."

It's a message many of us have heard on the tube. But are the announcements needlessly crass and demeaning?

A homeless person sleeping in Charing Cross station
Image: Shutterstock

Georgia Elander thinks so. She's started a Change.org petition in the hope that TfL will reconsider its messaging.

She points out that homelessness and rough sleeping have skyrocketed in recent years, against a background of welfare cuts and austerity politics.

The announcements currently running on the underground are deeply dehumanising, encouraging wealthy commuters to see those forced to beg on trains as a nuisance to be ignored - rather than people who have been badly let down by the system, and who deserve support and compassion.

At the time of writing, some 21,700 people have signed the petition. You can help the numbers along here.

TfL has a zero-tolerance policy toward begging on its stations and services, while busking is tightly controlled through an audition system.  

Donate to Whitechapel Mission

Overground trains offer an alternative to the controversial announcements. Many carriages carry these posters, suggesting a donation to Whitechapel Mission.

We've just slipped them a few quid. Your turn.

Last Updated 16 May 2019