London Transport Advice

Some advice for passengers on London Underground.

When the tube breaks down and the announcements are telling you to use alternative routes, in the vast majority of cases you are better off staying where you are and waiting for the problem to be fixed.

It seems to be standard operating procedure in these cases that tube staff try to get as many people off the tube as possible. And they’ll keep giving that advice right up to the moment before the tube moves on.

Here’s an example. Last night I got to Moorgate at about 17:15. There was a tube in the station. A few people were getting off. I got on. As I got on there was an announcement that there was no service on the line due to a person being taken ill a couple of stops down. More people got off. I got a seat (another good side effect of these situations). We sat there for about five minutes with announcements every thirty seconds that strongly implied that the tube wasn’t going anywhere for some time and that we’d be better off walking home. A few more people got off, but most of us (the ones who knew how this usually works) stayed put.

And then suddenly one of these announcements was followed by a different voice announcing that the train was about to leave. And off we went.

Had I followed their advice, I would have added thirty minutes to my journey home. By ignoring them I ended up getting home five minutes later than expected.

Ignore the advice. Stay on the tube.

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