Regular commuters will know by now that in addition to the morning Metro, we now have not one but two free papers to see us home at night. London Lite escaped last Friday and on Monday The London Paper hit the outside of Tube stations. Moley kindly sent me an email with some interesting thoughts on how the one of the capital's new papers covered the London Underground. Will it be the sign of things to come?
"Monday was the night when The London Paper was launched to go head to head with last weeks new freebie, the London Lite.
So, apart from the fact that they both ran with the same lead story - Steve Irwin's untimely death - you thought one of them might have gone for a big fat London exclusive.
Well, yes - one did. The London Paper on page 6 has the story "£6bn Games travel plan" which begins:
"A £6 BILLION masterplan aimed at ending London's commuter misery and reading the capital for Olympic glory has been exclusively revealed to thelondonpaper...."
This exclusive story has more big gaps in it than the Northern Line's service to Mill Hill East! I choose just a selection for you....
"Long-suffering commuters on London's neglected North London Silverlink line and passengers on the East London line from Shoreditch to New Cross will be among the first to benefit."
OK - The NLL comes to TfL from Autumn 2007, but the East London Line (phase 1) will not be fully delivered until June 2010!!!! If they are among the first, then we should all panic now.
"On Wednesday, Mayor Ken Livingstone will confirm he has signed a "225 million new contract to deliver 30 new trains on the North London Line" How about this press release then from last Thursday.
Page 10 and 11 then go onto show the improvements for the Olympics - as you will notice they are all 'shocks'
Jubilee Line - Upgrade to the signalling
District Line - Rolling stock refurbished by 2009
Central Line - Capacity Upgrade
Station Upgrade - All 275 stations refurbished by 2010 (This is way behind schedule)
Bond Street to be upgraded sooner than 2010 (They obviously have not been through Bond Street recently, it's happening - now!)
Upgrading of all sub surface lines to get 15% increase in train service by March 2012 (They however forget to mention the S Stock.)
Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford - Stations to be upgraded to take DLR services. (Well, I've used DLR services at Canning Town and Stratford before - so 1/3 isn't bad!)
Woolwich Arsenal - Extension of DLR line with new station (Yes, because this is already under construction).
Bank to Lewisham line - Platforms to be extended for 3 car trains (Old news? They go on to tell you that an increase from 2 to 3 cars is a 50% increase in capacity - you don't say!).
Poplar and Canning Town - "New three car-trains" (We don't know what they will do with these three car trains at Poplar and Canning Town - perhaps turn them into offices?)
Four new stations to relieve at High Street, Abbey Road and Star Lane. (Yup - count them, one, two, three - errr????).
"Hoxton clubbers can look forward to their own Tube stop for the first time" - since when has there been planned a TUBE service to Hoxton? TfL Rail - yes indeed.
Finally - the article states "Up to 240,000 passengers disgorging at the Olympic Hub [Stratford]" - The Dictionary definition of Disgorging: 1. To bring up and expel from the throat or stomach; vomit. 2. To discharge violently; spew. 3. To surrender (stolen goods or money, for example) unwillingly. 4. To discharge or pour forth contents.
Erm, I'm staying away from Stratford!!!!
As you can see Moley wasn't exactly wild about the "news" in The London Paper.
He concludes by saying: "The London Paper appears to have modelled itself on the Guardian whereas London Lite is a cross between The Metro and The Mirror. Incidentally, tonight the distributors were both stood next to each other trying to convince their victims (sorry, I mean readers) to choose their respective papers. There also appears to be an unwritten rule whereby you may not have a copy of each free paper! As I got yelled at both distributors for taking one of each!
After tonight's performance, The London Paper have scored an almighty own goal and handed the upper hand to London Lite. Let battle commence........"
It's too early for me to have developed a favourite yet, but I am now having a bit of a time warp and thinking that night time is morning time with the amount of discarded papers strewn over the seats in the evening. Are London and the Underground seats big enough for two evening freebies?