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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Staying Cool on the London Underground

Free water for bus & rail passengers but nowt for Tube commuters

It's hard to think, that it's the 21st century when you see huge "cartoon looking" fans like this as a way of cooling down the Tube.

Air Conditioning at Old Street

I know we have our problems with air conditioning in the actual Tube tunnels and on trains themselves, but I'd have hoped that station concourses may have been better equipped to deal with the heat than having a large caged fan. But I'm by no means an expert on this and hopefully someone will be able to tell me whether or not this is a funny as it looks.

Other than at Old Street I'm sure regular commuters would have noticed more of the "Stay Cool in the heat" posters like the one below appearing:

Stay Cool in the Heat

They have helpful advice like always carrying a bottle of water with you, and not getting on the Tube if you don't feel very well and to basically stop acting like you expect the London Underground to have better (sorry strike that) any air conditioning at all.

This is even more galling when Thames Water yesterday announced a plan for rail and bus passengers to be able to fill up their water bottles at stations, but this plan would not be extended to the London Underground

Andrea Riding of Thames Water said "We think the machines would be a welcome addition to every rail and bus station".

With a nicely watery reference she continued: "I think we have seen a real sea change in the attitude of Londoners to bottled water and now we hope we can bring that choice to people on the move as well."

Apparently the machines will dispense water for free or with a nominal fee of 20p per half litre.

However, a Transport for London spokeswoman said of the chance of opening this up to include the Tube: "Although we investigated the possibility, such a system would require the installation of new water, power and drainage system at considerable cost, and would create passenger flow problems."

But if they can cope with that cost at bus and railway stations and the flow at some railway stations is fairly high - why not do it for the London Underground?

Update - the BBC & other London media are discussing the old fans & Tube air conditioning now.


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