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Annie Mole's, webmaster of Going Underground, daily web log (blog).
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, THE fun and informative BOOK about travelling
on the London Underground.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

London Lite promote Tube Circle Line Party

Nice to see the London Lite giving today's
Final Circle Line Party so much coverage.

London Lite Promote Tube Party

I thought they'd give it a bit of coverage but not really front page news. I looked a little closer and noticed that picture they had used to illustrate the "drinkers" looked a bit familiar.

There was also something familiar about the colouring, but I couldn't immediately put my finger on it.

I turned to page three and carried on reading:

Apparently my blog is an "online flyer"

There was an "online flyer" inviting the public to "party on the tube". At this point the colouring and my words hit home. It wasn't an online flyer but my blog post about the Circle Line Party.

The image of the "wine on the line" drinkers was of a YouTube video about the Jubilee Line Dinner Party which happened on November 27th 2006. As you can see from the video it was a very quiet sedate and funny party involving about six people and the commuters felt it was all very funny and joined in.


It's a bit strange that the London Lite chose a very sedate party to illustrate the "huge party in defiance of the Tube booze ban".

Obviously I handed this story to them on a plate, as Associated Newspapers wanted to use the opportunity to show that they had reached out to me for my opinion on their coverage. Note they've decided not to photo shop out my comment that says: "Don't forget to let The Evening Standard know what you think of their coverage of the Tube Booze Ban & Circle Line Parties as their letters guy contacted me for help."

I spose I expected a little more of them in terms of pictures that they could have used to cover this story. But hey ho. I think Bolli sums up my opinion of them way better than I could:

Will this be mai looz payper 2 morrow?
"Will this be mai looz payper 2 morrow?"


Sneak peek of my first and Final Circle Line Party photos here, full blog post on Sunday. Sorry, my broadband with Virgin Media was hardly usable yesterday from about 9am so I couldn't write a post or comment. The pictures are there for you to see and lots of comments have been made below, which is great that such an interesting discussion took place.

Update - 3rd June 2008 - now that I actually have internet back I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the media's reporting of the event even though London Lite continues its "sensational" front page stories as seen above. If you've seen last night's London Lite you will know what I mean.

Boris gets  blame as drink ban goes down the Tube - MetroBoth Metro and the londonpaper actually tried to tell the story from the viewpoint of people who were actually at the party and weren't just commenting on what they had seen on TV.

Those of you in the comments below who went to the party as partygoers didn't see the scenes that the TV show, as like myself you probably stayed till about 11ish and then left. Sure I saw people getting arrested. I saw people very, very drunk who had no idea what they were there for which is sad. But to blame this on the main Circle Line party organiser is simply unfair. As Metro said about the British Transport Police "officers refused to blame the organisers for the trouble, instead accusing 'a very small minority' of spoiling the party."


Metro
writer James Ellis openly "flouted the ban for an hour yesterday - and was not challenged. A TfL worker saw us at Waterloo but gave a wry grin and moved on".

The londonpaper open their piece on pages 8-9 with a very telling sentence: "The Last Round on the Underground was one of those events that thousands attended, but thousands more will claim they were at".

Booze ban bash puts Tube beyond the law - londonpaper

You can see the full article here but here are a few more quotes: "From the chants of "Hey Boris, leave our booze alone" to the army of Johnson wigs spilling out of the Barbican, the message was clear: London had decided to stick two fingers up to London's new mayor. His "silly new rule" was said to be unenforceable"... "Despite an idiotic few fronting up to police at King's Cross there were few genuine hell-raisers in evidence".... "Non partying commuters looked on in amusement."

And to those of you who say that the organiser was naive in not expecting that trouble would flare up, I would like to wholeheartedly agree with Neil Evans - one of the commenters below who says:

"I'm amazed BTP and TfL didn't see this event becoming what it turned out to be, personally i'd have shut the zone one lines totally for 'engineering'."

UPDATE 4th June - How the US viewed this:



; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, May 31, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Food 2.0 Nom Nom Nom - Win Lunch in Tube Carriage Office

As many of you know I've been working with
TrustedPlaces, Cookery School and SpinVox and many other kind supporters on an interactive version of MasterChef or bloggers' cook-off, which took place on Sunday 18th May. You can hear how it all went from the BBC Radio 5 Pods & Blogs podcast.

So it's now over to you - you've got the lion's share of the vote in deciding which participant has given you the best online experience.

Please visit all of the cooks' pages and decide. You could also get a chance of winning lunch at "possibly the coolest office in London".

Tom Foxcroft in the Tube Office

My friend James Grieve runs Nabokov, an innovative theatre company who have their offices in these old Jubilee Line Carriages - the Tube offices in the sky on Great Eastern Street, London.

A lot of you also wanted me to try to arrange a visit to go up to their offices. Well I had a chat to James and he's very kindly offered to take two of you (and possibly me) to pick up lunch at the brill BLT (Big Loaded & Tasty) sandwich shop & then have the lunch back in his Tube offices.

So please, please, please consider making a donation to Action Against Hunger with just £4, that's the price of two sarnies in most places in the UK, you can not only help the charity, but also get a chance of winning that lunch and visit to the Tube Carriage Offices.

There's also twenty one sets of brill prizes, ranging from a meal for two with booze at Konstam, a hands on workshop at Cookery School, lunch in the Tube Carriage Office in the sky and a single trip travel insurance policy anywhere in the world to DVD's like Nacho Libre and Sideways, books - Cooking with Booze & Gillian McKeith's Shopping Guide, subscriptions to Delicious and Food & Travel magazine, handmade chocolate brownies, food fridge magnets and more. Bobby Bargain!


Please note the prize draw is only open to UK residents - but anyone can vote.

What are you still reading this for get voting & donating now! Many Thanks



; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 30, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Massive Meltdown on the Tube - Massive Attack that is

If you've been using the London Underground in the last month you may have seen these ads for the
Massive Attack Meltdown which is taking place next month:

Massive Attack Meltdown poster on Tube

I love Massive Attack - their dark dismal Bristollian songs really fit my mood a lot of the time on the Tube. Trouble was by the time I got around to booking a ticket to see them, the ones on the Southbank Centre's site had sold out and you can currently only get them online at about £98 a ticket. I like them, but don't like them THAT much!

However lots of people they have written songs with or have performed with, will also be at Meltdown and I managed to snag some reasonably priced tickets to see Terry Callier. He's a real soul legend and was mates with Curtis Mayfield. He's collaborated with Massive Attack and Beth Orton (who also sings fairly miserable Tube sound tracks & collaborates with the Chemical Brothers & William Orbit) and his voice makes me feel like crying (in a really good way).



So me and two girly mates - Brian Pigeon's PR agent, Lisa and Lyz from Life with an Accent are going to see him on the 20th June. We have one spare ticket, so if you want to sit next to three geeky bloggy chicks you're welcome to get in touch with us. We're looking for around £22 for the ticket.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, May 29, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Knife Arch Scanner spotted on the Tube

What looks like an anti crime knife arch was spotted being installed at Turnham Green Tube by the eagle eyed Michael.
Operation Blunt 2 has come into much wider force in an aim to curb knife attacks. The police operation uses knife arches, which scan for concealed weapons and we ought to get used to seeing these more frequently at London underground stations and another public transport centres - eg bus stations.

Turnham Green Tube Scanner Knife Arch taken by Michael W

It's weird and surprising when you first see these as Michael's email to me shows while sending the photo to me from his iPhone:

"Looks like some sort of portable scanner, complete with 3 policemen and a setter-upper man, just in time for Friday rush hour!

Don't know if this is common at other stations or something to do with Boris, but thought you may be interested.

Personally, I think there may be more dangerous places to target than leafy Chiswick!
"

There is growing public anxiety about fatal stabbings, shootings and teenage gangs, particularly in large cities like London and the scanners seem to be working.

My response was initially that I thought the police needed "quiet" areas to test this first. But I'm not so sure now. Violence can happen anywhere, even in suburban leafy Chiswick. I've not been through Turnham Green since this has been installed and I wonder how many people actually notice it. But again isn't that the whole point of them?


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/knife-arch-scanner-spotted-on-tube.html

Narnia on the Tube - revisited

Calling all film buffs and London Underground Station architecture experts. Can you help John Keith with the following:

"I found your blog and was hoping you would have some information that might be interesting to me and your other readers.


As you know, from your previous post, the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, has a wonderful scene where the children enter into the Strand tube station, go underground, and are then whisked away to Narnia. At the end, of course, they are deposited back at the station.

strand

I have never been into the Strand station. I am from the United States. I happen to be here this week, and now I'm obsessed with trying to figure out which station the filmmakers were trying to imitate.

You can watch the "teaser trailer" here in the "videos" section from the menu

Your blog fills in the blanks, but I'm still confused.

The Strand in the movie must be the Charing Cross Strand, if they are being historically accurate, since the Aldwych station had been closed between 1940-1946 for use as a air raid shelter on one platform and as storage on the other.

The exterior shots were filmed outside of England, though, so was the street design accurate, at all? Your blog says the
"exterior shots appear to be recreating the Strand at Charing Cross". I am confused as to where this is, at the current Charing Cross station - that station is a big huge six-story building and doesn't seem to look anything like the exterior shot in the film.

Have you thought to write a new entry on your (excellent) blog with more information? I would love to know exact details of what is accurate and totally made up - one commenter, for example, says the real station did not have tiles on both sides.

Thanks for any help you may provide!
".

Well I hope that someone else can help John as I've sort of exhausted all knowledge I have on the subject.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/narnia-on-tube-revisited.html

Monday, May 26, 2008

GeeKyoto 2008 - Can travelling by Tube save the world?

On the 17th May 2008 I went a brill event about discussing the future.
GeeKyoto 2008 was based on the premise that world is fooked (sorry) broken and we have two choices, we either say "There's absolutely nothing I can do about it, and I'll be dead before it's really broken" or "I can't really do a lot but even little things I can do might make a difference to the future".

My Geekyoto Story Cube by Annie Mole

Even though I'm not a card carrrying eco warrior I'm definitely of the latter opinion and the event brought together some very interesting "geeks" who were trying to show how technology could be used to help fix what's broken.

At the event we were all given little "story cubes" see mine above to jot down ideas and stuff. The thing that really struck me throughout a lot of the presentations was there was a rash of companies being set up to measure your carbon footprint - but without actually doing much beyond that.

So you could tell how big your carbon footprint was and how it grew if you flew somewhere, got a bigger car, used more electricity, used more gas, etc etc. You could even see how large your friends and neighbours carbon footprint was. So far, so worthy. But what does that actually mean to the average person in the street?

I have a very small car. I only drive it at weekends. That's not because I want to be green (if I wanted to be really green I'd just dump it), it's because I don't like driving and it would cost me a fortune to drive to work.

But is my London Underground travel helping to save the planet then? Yeah I suppose it is. It's one less car on the road. Although perhaps it would be better if I cycled. It's a long way from Kew to the City and I'd be really sweaty by the time I arrived, so I'd have to have another shower. Which means more energy and water used there.


Unless I used the little egg-timer from the "Planet Repair" pack that Ken Livingstone put out while he was still Mayor. Apparently if I cut down my normal shower down to 4 minutes I'll be saving the planet. A four minute shower for me is more or less like just stepping in and out and simply isn't going to happen.

To me, the thing is that we're not going to really change our daily habits unless we can see some real tangible benefit or reward or have fun doing it. Perhaps we'd be more tempted to use the bus if we could have a swing while we were waiting there:

Geekyoto - Swings at Bus Stops

Brill presentation on playfulness by some students at Central Saint Martin's College. James Smith from dothegreenthing also had some sound ideas about trying not to follow the "worthy", "preachy", negative images slightly evidenced by the stickers in the Planet Repair pack "Turn off this", "Switch off that", "Unplug that".

Geekyoto - My Favourite Presentation

If being green is rewarded with playfulness, fun, empowerment and some kind of status for doing it and if we see simple little things that we can all do, I think green initiatives will have a much greater chance of success.

You'll see from my cube that I wondered if anyone was talking to the rail companies and TfL about all this. How could people who didn't use the Tube be encouraged to use it when we all know what a hot smelly rubbish and overcrowded form of transport it is? Could my Oystercard usage give me discounts off my residents permit parking or car tax / MOT?

I'm typing this as the rain is coming down with a vengeance outside which makes the idea of a Sunshine Garden and gardening for drought seem somewhat farcial right now.

Sunshine Garden Poster on the Tube

But maybe this is all part of the bigger problem. We had thick snow in mid April, interspersed with boiling hot days. We've had tons of rain this year and now even though it's virtually the end of May, it's really cold. The climate is certainly screwed and unless we start doing something, perhaps we might see a "broken world" in our own lifetimes or much sooner than expected.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 26, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Tube Mobile Coverage quietly "shelved"?

Not heard about this officially yet but
the Inquirer report that "The plan to enable mobile phones to work on London's underground railway network (aka The Tube) has been quietly shelved according to Martin Cassidy, president of Innovawireless."

photo by  Alexander Boden

Around two years ago TfL said "It is our intention to commence a trial at a small number of Tube stations in late 2007 with the aim of introducing mobile phone and new technology provision at stations from summer 2008." This never happened.

Then in March 2007 we heard that the technology was trickier to install and it was delayed even further "The earliest the trial will begin is in April next year and if it is successful, will be extended across the Tube network. LU said the earliest date mobile phone coverage could be extended across the Tube network is mid-2009."

The Inquirer continue "Cassidy pitched his previous company's - Zinwave's - wares to Transport for London but found that the body expected suppliers to bear the brunt of financing the project.

As Cassidy's colleague, Daniel Lewing, pointed out, it is extremely difficult to work on the underground network. He reckons that you've only got two hours max overnight to get things done.
"

The piece concludes to say that Cassidy is now working for a new company with "hubs that utilise just one sort of antenna to pump a variety of mobile signals around a building. The list includes everything from Wi-fi (802.11 a/b/g) to cellular (GSM, CDMA, TDMA) and 3G (W-CDMA).

Now that London's got a new mayor, in Boris Bimbo Johnson, maybe the project will be revived. Sadly, the INQ never read his manifesto to know his views on mobile phones.
"


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 23, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/tube-mobile-coverage-quietly-shelved.html

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf on the Tube

No this isn't more
London Underground Celebrity spotting although what a spot that would be. It's about how I saw Gandalf on the Tube just by slowing down a little.

Sir Ian McKellen on the Tube - screengrab

With helping to organise Food 2.0 : Nom, Nom, Nom and having a particularly busy time in my day job as well, plus all the Boris & Mayor bollocks, I've been working stupidly long hours, not getting enough sleep and basically heading for mind & body meltdown.

Last night I was supposed to have been out yet again, but due to some more rubbish timing on my part, I missed the people I was supposed to meet and headed home earlier than I was expecting. So rather than catch up with even more web stuff, I decided to watch TV, something which I actually haven't done for weeks.

I've been listening to HeartFM a lot at night and one of the soundtracks to my life this month has been "Falling Out Of Reach" by the Guillemots. I really love this record but had never seen the video for it and didn't even know what the Guillemots looked like.

So I put on the "Music on Demand" channel on my TV and found the video. It was an amazing video about an old man being really run down and almost being on a treadmill in his office. He suddenly leaves the office, but still stuck to his office chair he moves around London with the rest of the world rushing past him.

Lots of music videos about London feature the Tube as a "locator" to say "this is London" and so it wasn't surprising to see the old man stuck in his chair meet the chaos of the London Underground.

It took me about two views to think, "Hold on, isn't that old guy Ian McKellen or Gandalf".

Ian McKellen on the Tube - screengrab

I took the photos above and obviously needed the internet to confirm my suspicions.

Wikipedia haven't even got an entry for Falling Out of Reach yet and had no idea. But Sky News were on the ball and reported Ian McKellen making the recording for the band in March.

It turns out that Sir Ian's nephew is a fan of the band and took him to a concert. He later heard that they were making a video for Falling Out Of Reach which was released in May.

Sir Ian said: "I'm not up with all the latest music and I don't have an iPod and I don't know how they work. But I do like the people who make music and particularly kids who are just coming up and utterly devoted to it and are real musicians and it's a privilege to be with them really."

The Guillemots lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield is amazed that Gandalf was on the set and said "It's one of the country's greatest actors appearing in our video. It's mental".



Mental it is. Rock it does. You can see Falling Out Of Reach on YouTube. Enjoy.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, May 22, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Food 2.0 Nom Nom Nom - Win Lunch in Tube Carriage Office

I've been working with
TrustedPlaces, Cookery School and SpinVox and many other kind supporters on an interactive version of MasterChef or bloggers' cook-off, which took place on Sunday 18th May. We took 24 bloggers, foodies, geeks, photographers, online reviewers & senior members of interesting internet companies, put them together in pairs and they had to prepare a three course meal for four people in two and half hours. Photos are already being uploaded but from next week, you'll get the opportunity to vote for your favourites. You could also get a chance of winning lunch at "possibly the coolest office in London".

Tom Foxcroft in the Tube Office

My friend James Grieve runs Nabokov, an innovative theatre company who have their offices in these old Jubilee Line Carriages - the Tube offices in the sky on Great Eastern Street, London.

Since first blogging about them, they've appeared on Kottke.org, coudal, scottberkun and lots of other cool blogs from around the world.

Jmaes Grieve Nabokov Arts Club 159

A lot of you also wanted me to try to arrange a visit to go up to their offices. Well I had a chat to James via text (he's currently in New York) and he's very kindly offered to take two of you (and possibly me) to pick up lunch at the brill BLT (Big Loaded & Tasty) sandwich shop & then have the lunch back in his Tube offices. Hopefully, the weather will be better than when I went and you'll get some stunning views across the city too.

BLT Big Loaded Tasty Lunch

Bacon & Bangers and Mash at BLT

Nom Nom Nom has a charity element as we didn't just want to have 24 people make and then gorge on lovely food without at least thinking about people who don't have the luxury to do this. We're raising money for Action Against Hunger to help those people in some way.

title="Raffle

We already had a real time raffle on Sunday but from next week we'll be holding an online prize draw where you can make a donation/s to be in with a chance of winning a number of foody prizes, this lunch being one of them. So keep an eye on the charity prize draw page for details of how you can enter & find out what the other prizes are.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, May 21, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/food-20-nom-nom-nom-win-lunch-in-tube.html

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stewart Herring D'OH Stewart Lee on the Tube

At Angel this morning a bloke got on my carriage who looked remarkably like
Stewart Lee (the guy who wrote Jerry Springer The Opera and a major Brit stand up comic). You know what it's like when you see someone in a non familiar surrounding you're never really sure it's them. He looked shorter than I thought he was. Plus he was having an intense conversation about pig farming.

But that's what made me really think, that must be Stewart Lee. Weirdly I had been helping to run an event about food and buying food from farmers' markets only yesterday and there was Stewart Lee (I thought) right in front of me.

So I plucked up the courage and said "Excuse me are you Stewart Herring?" He looked at me a bit strangely - probably cos it turned out that he was Stewart Lee and said "Err yes" I said, "Do you mind if I take a photo of you? As I run a blog about the Tube and weirdly yesterday was running an event about food and how it's farmed". He looked a bit awkward but said "Alright then". I said "I'm going to have to be quick cos I get off at the next stop". So managed to grab a couple of quick shots on the moving train (only just uploaded now as I left my camera lead at the Cookery School). The really blurry one is just on this link, but the one I prefer is below:

Stewart Lee on the Tube

Oh yeah and the reason I called him Stewart Herring (to those who haven't already guessed) is because his comedy partner - at least when I first heard of him - is a guy called Richard Herring. D'Oh, D'Oh, D'Oh.

To see my other comedians amongst my London Underground Celebrity Stalking er sorry Tube Celebrity Spotting spots check out these blog posts: Rob Brydon Matthew Kelly, Jack Doherty (Men's Uggs Celebrity Tube Fashion Victim). Second thoughts, didn't realise I had so many comedians, perhaps I'd better not tell him, he'd have me arrested.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 19, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Final Circle Line Party May 31st 2008

The
Circle Line Parties are coming to an end and Last Orders on the Underground are holding a final one on May 31st. I first heard about this from The Guardian

Last Orders on the Underground

Don't forget to let The Evening Standard know what you think of their coverage of the Tube Booze Ban & Circle Line Parties as their letters guy contacted me for help.


I spose he'd be including Jubilee Line Dinner Parties in his description too.


UPDATE - See how the media reported on the Circle Line Party event here. Led to very interesting discussion.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 19, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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London's Routemaster Return in doubt

According to Kulveer Ranger, Boris Johnson's director of transport policy - the Mayor's plans for a newgeneration Routemaster may not happen. The
Evening Standard report that "a design competition would be launched - but if no bid was good enough they would look again at the pledge."

London's affair with the Routemaster

Boris's newly appointed director of transport policy said "The Routemaster was, and indeed still is, an icon and we need something that has the same iconic status."

In terms of budget he was a bit vague:

"We'll set some sort of ball-park figure but we can't say how much it will cost at this time. Let's see what comes back.

"The plan is to have them on the roads by the end of his first term but we're not doing this just for the hell of it. If we find there are initially no suitable bids we will review [the policy]."

BorisWatchers said: "Wasn't one of Boris Johnson's campaign pledges to bring back the Routemaster as the bendy bus was evil? Wonder how many people voted for Boris because of that?"

Boris Watch have similar thoughts "How many times during the campaign did we have to listen to Boris lecturing us on how Ken had once said "only some sort of ghastly, dehumanised moron would get rid of the Routemaster", then done so himself; and how Boris Johnson, knight in shining armour, would be riding to the rescue with a new generation Routemaster to save us all from the moron’s work? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know it was a lot.

But just how much of a ghastly, dehumanised moron would you have to be to spend nine months telling people that if you become Mayor you will bring back an open-backed, conductor-managed "twenty-first-century Routemaster", flying in the face of expert advice and analysis of costings and practicalities, touting this as your flagship policy for months on end… only to have your transport adviser reveal, within your first fortnight in office, that chances are no such thing will ever happen at all?
"

It's interesting that the Evening Standard report talks about the advice Boris was given in his first week of tenure: "mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg also warned Mr Johnson to get rid of any manifesto pledges immediately which looked unlikely to work.".

Well certainly looks like our new Mayor is being true to that piece of advice.

UPDATE: The London Transport Museum are running a series of events to coincide with a new photographic exhibition on the Routemaster which opened on the 17th May - The Last Stop. One of those events is a talk by author of the book pictured above - Travis Elborough.

"The Routemaster was taken out of general service in December 2005. It remains a famous symbol of London and in terms of postcards, books, films and souvenirs - in the eyes of the world - the Routemaster represents the city just as much as Big Ben and Tower Bridge.

Join Travis Elborough, author of the acclaimed The Bus We Loved, for a digressive, cultural tour of the Routemaster's life and times. Taking in everything from the Festival of Britain, Douglas Scott, Flanders and Swann and Cliff Richard to the Eagle comic, Sam Selvon, Alfie and On the Buses, he examines how this humble bus became a cherished global icon
."

As Londonist say for a bargain price of a tenner you get "an hour of Travis talk time and entry into the museum beforehand".


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 19, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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I Didn't Vote Boris T Shirt "in the wild"

Mex picked up her "Don't Blame Me I didn't vote Boris T Shirt" at yesterday's Nom Nom Nom event, which we both helped to organise with Trustedplaces and Spinvox.

Food 2.0: Nom, Nom, Nom photo by Tiki Chris

In light of the post above the shop might be seeing a few more orders.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 19, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Food Smells at Old Street Tube

I emerged from Old Street Tube station yesterday morning and I thought that someone was cooking a roast dinner. I don't know what it was but there was a really strong meaty smell in the air.

There are a lot of restaurants when you walk through the exit but at that time in the morning I can't imagine why any of them would be cooking a roast dinner.

Old Street London Underground Station

If anyone who knows (TubeLines people, hint, hint) maybe you can explain.

I really do love food and love cooking (so much so I'm helping to run an foodie event on Sunday 18th May which you can find out more about here). But there is something really weird about smelling food at times and places where you're not really expecting it.

You may remember the controversial poster, asking people to not eat smelly food on the Tube which almost caused diplomatic incident between London & Italy and it was pulled.

Smelly Food Ad

When I've had a few drinks I've been known to eat some hot food on the Tube, and I know it's unpleasant if you're not eating. (It's like the smell of someone else eating cheese and onion crisps) But when you are starving, specially if it's late, sometimes only fried chicken or a pie or a kebab will do.

Well a kebab wouldn't do it for me actually, as I really do think they're pretty disgusting. But I will try my best not to eat hot food on the Tube anymore. It's just that you're so limited for healthy food late at night near London Underground stations, you don't get much choice.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 16, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/food-smells-at-old-street-tube.html

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walk of London Undeground Lines completed

Congratulations to
Neil who has just completed his walk of all London Underground Tube Lines. It took him 54 days (not continuously) duing a period of six months to walk 378.5 miles to walk between all the stations on all the Tube lines of London.

He started the project last December and said "As I walk I'm recording my tracks with a GPS data logger and taking lots of photos. The walking routes and pics are on the site. London Photo Project - Tube Walking Blog - I'm expecting to have finished all 12 lines (I started when the East London line was still running) before the end of June."

Merged Tube Walking Map

Well he finished yesterday so he was within his target. You can also see a merged map of his route here.

He correctly (I think) guesses that he may be the only person to have done this, specially as he started before the East London Line was closed. It's similar to a number of other projects that try to show the how long it might take to walk between Tube stations and whether it's healthier or faster to walk, than take the London Underground.

Detail of walking tube map by students at Central St Martin's College of Art

But to walk all 378.5 miles and map your route taking photos along the way is a great achievement. Well done Neil and I wonder if you have set a challenge for someone to do the same. Sadly, they'll have to wait until the East London Line re-opens though.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, May 15, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/walk-of-london-undeground-lines.html

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bolli is Pet of the Day on Purina site

Wow - just got home to find that a picture I had taken of Bolli's very first time outside in my garden has been chosen to be one of
Purina's Pets of the Day (I took advantage of no London Underground or London Overground trains running to let him have a nosy outside).

Considering Bolli eats quite a bit of Purina wet food in the form of those little foil packs of Felix, I'm sure he'd approve.

Bolli hiding behind the tree

If you'd like to see him and vote him up the charts, the picture above can be found amongst the following pictures.

More Bolli outdoors pictures are in my Bolli Flickr set. Thanks Purina!


Goes Awayz Nows, I iz Eating - Bolli is Chief Overlord of Nom Nom Nom


willz they believez iz enjoyin this?



; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Annie Mole was speaking at Ladyfest London

To anyone who follows my
twitter feed you might have noticed that on Saturday I headed off to Ladyfest London, where I'd been invited to give a talk and chair a discussion workshop on blogging.

Ladyfest room - blogging workshop

It was very interesting even though mine and fellow speaker Lorrie's audience as very small (half were male) as the people in the audience all had some interest in transport & the Tube. Some had read my blog, one had even read Mecca's One Stop Short of Barking, others were thinking of running transport related blogs, one was doing research into a creative project involving the Tube.

I talked about all sorts of stuff which might be interesting to people thinking of starting their own blog. The importance of primarily writing for yourself so that ideally your enthusiasm shows through. What starts to happen once you get an audience and how people may or may not treat your blog differently. How do you deal with comments and particularly comments you don't agree with or find offensive.

They were fairly shocked to hear that I've had a persistent racist guy commenting on my blog since 2005. He is banned and knows that he is banned but still comes back using different IP addresses and makes posts at 2am or 4am in the morning as he hopes that at least some people will read his views before I get the chance to delete them. I'm not going to name him as that will give him the attention he craves. I will tell him & anyone else who's reading this, that I delete all of his posts and don't even read them, so I have absolutely no idea what he is saying to me. I treat him in exactly the same way that he treats Black, Asian, Jewish and basically any "non-white" people who he's maligned over the past three years. With complete disrespect. If that makes me a fascist - so be it. But I refuse to let him or anyone else try to use my blog as a mouthpiece for spreading racial hatred. It simply ain't going to happen.

The only good thing I can say about him is that, so far, he doesn't appear to be sexist. But I'm sure that will come in a comment made at 3am in the morning - so look out for it!

Back to other tips for new bloggers. Bloggers on the whole are very collaborative and share a lot. They usually acknowledge other bloggers stories and read and comment on other people's blogs. I love Flickr and spend the first half hour of most mornings having a look at my friends pictures to see what they've been up to and commenting on stuff.

The time went by very quickly and it was a shame the discussions couldn't continue as we also discussed copyright & legal issues, responsibility of blogging and dealing with sexism in blog comments.

Ladyfest London by Jess McCabe

Many thanks to Jess McCabe from the F Word for inviting me and I would certainly love to go along again next year.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Evening Standard ask - Has our Tube Drinks Ban coverage been fair?

I've been sent an email (well two emails actually) by Josh Neicho from letters at Evening Standard. He wants me to pass on to friends and colleagues who have previously run Circle Line parties.

I only have one friend who has run a Circle Line party(well a pub crawl to be more precise - which is completely different) and I will forward this on to him. However, I imagine that that some people who read this blog, may have run Circle Line Parties (or at least been on them which is I think what Josh is trying to get at) so in the interests of giving Josh a wider sample, plus I don't read the Evening Standard that often, I hope he won't mind me blogging his email. In fact he's probably already presumed I would post it:

This is Josh Neicho from Letters at the Evening Standard. Hope you don't mind me contacting you directly - just wanted to get in touch re our coverage of the Underground and buses drink ban as I am keen to include views from some critics of the policy (so far, the responses I have had have been in support, including from non-Boris supporters). I have previously been in touch with Geoff Marshall on other Tube matters and will email him separately; I would be very grateful if you send your own thoughts or forward this to friends and colleagues who have previously run Circle Line parties and might like to comment.

Josh Neicho
Evening Standard Letters
joshua.neicho @ standard.co.uk


Josh is possibly not aware that Geoff Marshall hasn't lived in London for about 18 months to two years, well he may have been if he'd looked at his
blog. But maybe the Evening Standard's coverage has got through to Geoff in the US. Also although Geoff has been on a Circle Line Tube party, as far as I know, he actually hasn't run one.

I will send Josh my own thoughts (if he's also interested in my thoughts on their sister publications' Metro & London Lite, I'll be happy to give them) and if anyone would like to do the same or through the comments here please feel free.

In the meantime you might be interested to see the londonpaper's letters page on the Tube drinks ban:

Londonpaper Letters Page on Tube Drinks Ban

Although the Londonpaper is owned by News International their letters pages cover a similar commuter audience.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 12, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/evening-standard-ask-has-our-tube-ban_12.html

Signs of Summer on the Tube

Hope you managed to stand the heat on the London Underground at the weekend. On Saturday I spotted the guy below at lunchtime, who was a bit errr merry from booze and had clearly been out in the sun.

Signs of Summer on the London Underground

The red arms, chest and legs looked a tad painful, but he didn't seem to mind and his mates spent more time joking about the sweaty smells coming from one of their equally scantily clad friends.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 12, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/signs-of-summer-on-tube_12.html

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Don't Blame Me I Didn't Vote Boris T Shirt Spotted

You may have seen these
T shirts on Facebook, you may have seen them on this blog, but this is the first picture I've seen with someone wearing one:

Don't Blame Me I Didn't Vote Boris T Shirt as seen in Facebook

It's from someone on the Boris Watch Group. Wonder how many more we'll be seeing?


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, May 10, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/dont-blame-me-i-didnt-vote-boris-t.html

Tube Booze Ban Party Planned for 11th May

I saw this earlier this morning on the Londonpaper's website, which for some strange reason I can't seem to access now, so just as well I took a screengrab.

Protestors against ban on booze - London Paper Screengrab

"Protesters against the ban on booze on London's public transport will gather this weekend to demonstrate against the new law.

The 'Anti-Boris Party' will take place at Trafalgar Square from 1pm on Sunday.

Facebook group 'Boris won't ban my booze!' – which was set up during the London Mayoral Election – is being used to advertise the city protest.

London student Beth Powell, on behalf of the Student Revolt Against Boris Johnson, posted the invitation to 'Drink as much as you want' during the eight-hour "party".
"

The article did not link to the Facebook Groups but if you want to see them, Here's the "Boris won't ban my booze" group which is not affiliated with the Student Revolt Against Boris Johnson Group which the Londonpaper article might lead you to believe.

Here's what the "Boris won't ban my booze" group have to say "Drinking on the tube in London is an institution of night time revelry. With vast distances to travel across London from house to pub or pub to club, a top-up is necessary for saving both time and money. The proposal is misguided, ineffective and serves only to victimise responsible tube-riding drinkers such as ourselves."

I have no idea how many people will turn up to students' protest / party. I imagine it will be crawling with police. It'll be interesting to see how this is reported on Monday.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, May 10, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, May 09, 2008

Woman attacked on Central Line

Police Woman on tube at Piccadilly Circus StationJust heard on Heart FM radio that the Police are looking for two men in connection with the attack of a woman last night on a Central Line carriage between Lancaster Gate and Queensway. The woman in her 20's was seriously assaulted at around 8.30pm. Doubtless more news of this will follow as internet news agencies get hold of the story. But in the meantime, if you saw anything please contact the police.

Obviously, this is awful for the poor woman who was attacked but good timing for Boris Johnson and the Government, as yesterday they both introduced plans to cut down crime & anti social behaviour on public transport. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith said: "I also understand people's concerns about anti-social behaviour on public transport. Working with passengers, transport staff and operators, Ruth Kelly and I will take action to answer these concerns.

"We want to stamp out ASB (anti social behaviour) on our buses, trains and trams. If more powers are needed to protect staff and the travelling public, we will provide them."

As Andrew Sparrow from The Guardian said of the Government's statement yesterday, "I may be wrong, but it looks like a last-minute addition inserted to show that Boris isn't the only politician concerned about yobs on buses."

The Home Secretary's speech with the ironically yobbish title "Anti Social Behaviour - We're not Having it" can be read in full here.

Andrew Sparrow said that Home Office's announcement "is not directly comparable. But it does show that, on the subject of unruly teenagers, the government does have something to say."

As Boris Johnson announced the ban on alcohol on all of London's public transport, questions were raised about the feasibility of the ban. The RMT union described the policy as "impractical", and admitted that their members suffer violence at the hands of drunk passengers.

RMT Leader Bob Crow said "We are in favour of any measure that will make our members' lives safer and curb anti-social behaviour, but it appears that this really hasn't been thought through very well and could well make matters worse. We are being told that it will be our members who will have to approach people drinking and ask them to stop - but the mayor hasn't asked us what we think."

For more on the RMT's thoughts about the alcohol ban, please see my earlier post below.

Update - I've just been sent an email to another attack to a woman on the Central Line. D Metcalfe wrote "Is it possible there were two recent violence incidents on the Central Line or is this story the one you mentioned?

If so these facts seem quite different from yours and - to me - much more troublesome. If this news story is accurate I'm simply amazed that a car load of Brits could sit/stand by and not intercede on behalf of this mother and daughter. Simply unbelievable. What has happened to the culture of so-called "civilised" folk that they would allow such an assault to take place? And not help? Or speak up afterwards as witnesses?
"

It's possible that Heart FM got the dates and locations on the Central Line wrong, but that's unlikely, so it sounds like these are two separate instances.

D continues "But I'm mad that my favorite form of transport was so badly besmirched. I've ridden that line a couple of time at about that time of day. And I'm a 77 year old Yank that as a kid rode street cars in Los Angeles during the "zoot suit" wars, so I couldn't have kept myself from butting in if I'd been in that car the other night. Just makes my blood boil."

Sadly D as I mentioned in the comments here you are in a minority when it comes to standing up to violence on the Tube. More police with real powers are needed and not just a simple crack down on alcohol on public transport. How you can instill a culture of people caring about their fellow commuters is way beyond me, and as much as I hate to say it, it sounds like there may have been some racism involved in this second attack.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 09, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/woman-attacked-on-central-line.html

Dissolved Oyster cards may make great magic wands

I'm sure a number of you read
Boing Boing (I don't but often get sent interesting stories from it - eg the spoof terrorist posters), its editor has a particular bugbear about the "Big Brotherness" of Oyster cards and how they can track your every move. Regular readers know I don't share this view.

As he hates Oyster cards so much, he showed a couple of attempts of how an Oyster card can be destroyed using some kind of industrial strength acetate and how the chip inside it will still work. Problem was that none of the attempts did actually work. At least not until now. Heads up to Gia who originally found this attempt.

SkeptoBot mananged to dissolve an Oyster card using very simple methods & ingredients:

Ingredients

1) 400ml of Nail Varnish Remover - I bought 2 bottles of Boots own brand at 99p each. I could probably have got by with one.
2) An oyster card - I bought a prepay one for £3, though I got a funny look when I didn't want to top it up there and then.
3) A jar big enough to contain the oyster card - I bought a jar of beetroot (urgh) for 72p.

Total Cost: £5.70


Once the Oyster card goes into the nail varnish it melts enough so that you can tear away the layers of plastic and you are left with the chip. He said:

"It's best to keep checking the card, first it will get soft, then after about 90 mins it folded over and I was able to peel off the first layer of the card, exposing one side of the chip. Then I cut the centre of the card out with scissors (so there was less plastic for the acetone to work on). I put these pieces next to the jar, and I was quite suprisied when the time-lapse showed them wobbling about.

Then after another half hour or so, the other side of the plastic loosened enough to peel that away exposing the intact chip and antenna
."

You can see a time lapse video of the whole process below:


But would it actually work? After all the meltdown, would he then be able to get the chip topped up and would it let him through the gates on the Tube? He took the chip, put it into an Oyster card wallet, so as not to look suspicious, and then topped it up with some cash, then videoed the experience (see below):


It worked. So one now has potentially endless opportunities of not being restricted to your blue card if you want to get about. SkeptoBot quite fancies sticking his chip onto a wand and waving it in front of the reader, saying something like "Open Sesame" and the gates would open - as if by magic.

Watch his blog for further developments to see if he can turn it into a wand.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 09, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/dissolved-oystercards-may-make-great.html

Boris spotted on the Tube

And not a PR person or journalist in sight

Eagle-eyed James saw Boris Johnson on the Victoria Line yesterday morning.

Boris Johnson Spotted on the Victoria Line by James

James said: "He was going from Highbury & Islington to Green Park (presumably for the Jubilee) and at least one person congratulated him and complained about the trains. He was also going to be late as it was 9 when I got off at Green Park. Terrible."

Just as well he wasn't on the same carriage as RMT's Bob Crow, who's not too happy about how his members will have to enforce the alcohol ban on all of London's transport.

He said: "Perhaps the Mayor will come out with his underpants over his trousers like Superman one Saturday to show us how it should be done, and maybe tell a crowd of Liverpool supporters that they can't drink on the train."

He's also not happy about Johnson's pre-election claims of trying to stop their right to strike. I raise my eyebrows at the first sentence here, but with rest, he has a point:

"Our members have never taken strike action at the drop of a hat - the legal constraints we face make that charge laughable.

But it would be insane for us to surrender our democratic right - our human right - to withdraw our labour to defend our interests. Politicians from all sides praised South African dock workers when they refused to handle a Chinese shipment of arms bound for Zimbabwe, but had that happened in Britain the union involved would have been hauled into court.

So, for the new Mayor's benefit, I say this: the RMT wants good industrial relations, but it will never enter into a no-strike agreement.
"


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, May 09, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/boris-spotted-on-tube.html

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Reading Morning Papers on the London Underground - what do you read?

Yesterday morning I went to a
breakfast seminar which had some fascinating speakers. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a great morning person and I generally don't like breakfast meetings or seminars as I think, why not just do them at a time when people are a bit more awake. However, this was worth me leaving my house at 7.30am. (as it was I didn't get there till 8.45am but that's a whole other story and will be the subject of a Customer Charter Refund form to TfL)

Reading Morning papers on the Tube

Because I got a much earlier train than normal there were loads of school kids and teenagers on my train.

The guy that you can see in the picture above was reading Metro and I've always banged on about the best thing about Metro and the free sheets is that they actually get teenagers and kids reading newspapers. Some people respond to me and say "ah but they only read the gossip, TV and sports sections". I say "well at least that's something". But in reality I actually think they read way more than that.

The teenager in front of me was reading the cover story about the tragic cyclone in Burma. He also proceeded to read the rest of the paper. Other teenagers around me were reading stuff about Pete Doherty mixed in with stuff about the American elections, Boris Johnson, a gun seige in London, Britney Spears seeing her kids and a whole lot of other stuff from yesterday's papers.

Mixed amongst the Metro readers (the majority of people in my carriage were reading the Metro) were The Sun readers (most males over 30) and the odd broadsheet reader.

So indulge me for a moment if you would. What paper do you read on your morning commute into work? And if you want to say roughly how old you are, that might help to prove or disprove my theory about Metro meaning that more teenagers are reading papers. Thanks!


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, May 08, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/reading-papers-on-london-underground.html

Please help out a fellow blogger

Britain Going Blog Crazy from Jan 2006 no idea what the figure is now - Metro Article

I've just spent about ten minutes completing quite a fun questionnaire about blogging. Normally ten minutes on a questionnaire is a little too long for me but I was attracted by the following email that was sent to me:

Hello

I've recently come to realise that blogging – which is to say, the way people blog and the reasons people blog and the things people blog about - is a complicated and profound and endlessly fascinating thing. So, because I'm an inquisitive beast, I've compiled a questionnaire about that very thing and I'd be honoured and thrilled if you'd fill it in for me.

If I don't know you personally by the way, it doesn't mean I don't want to. For the moment, I'm probably virtual friends with one of your other virtual friends. I did a little two-degree roll-trawling to get what I hoped would be a willing sample. Fingers crossed.

Of course, if you'd rather have your corneas scraped with poison arrows than answer a bunch of questions about your private blog habits, then please delete this email at once and I'm genuinely sorry to have bothered you.

If you do fancy it however, splendid! All information proffered will be treated with complete confidentiality and all results will be attributed anonymously. Unless of course, you tell me something particularly juicy, in which case I will contact you and ask your permission to single you out for special praise.

Oh, this is fun already.

Right. The survey is here:

http://www.polldaddy.com/s/33F57E9A1193D2A4/

Feel free to circulate.....

Cheers!

Stan

--

http://betedejour.blogspot.com/


I thought the questionnaire got a little too long. I won't tell you how many questions there are, as it might put you off, but if you aren't doing a number of things that it asks, ie if you don't have a stat counter, don't carry ads, don't have affiliate links, don't have an RSS feed enabled, haven't had sex as a result of your blog, haven't had a relationship with someone as a result of your blog and don't have comments enabled on your blog, you can skip a lot of the questions.

As I have or have done all of the above it took me a full ten minutes to answer. So if you have a blog give it a go if you fancy it, as it will get you thinking about all sorts of things about why you blog and why you carry on blogging and also asks the questions in a fairly fun way. If you don't have a blog, skip to something else on this blog that takes your fancy.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, May 08, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/please-help-out-fellow-blogger.html

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Signs of Summer on the Tube & Cooling the Tube job

You know that summer's coming on the London Underground when you see the appearance of the inevitable Heatbusters ads for air conditioning units

Heatbusters Ad on the Tube

Regular readers know that the problem of cooling the Tube is a big one and over a hundred people went to a talk on how the London Underground planned to tackle heat.

Jon Justice who's a regular commenter and contributor to the blog sent me a link to a role that Transport for London advertised on the 30th April - Operations Liaison Manager - Cooling the Tube.

"Operations Liaison Manager - London SW1
c£50k plus generous benefits

The Tube. Best Served Chilled.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Operations Liaison Manager who will act as the representative of local operational management on all Cooling the Tube Programme (CTP) activities. You will ensure that planned project works are delivered with minimum impact on the operational railway; help prepare and implement an operational readiness plan for using the new assets, ensuring that local teams are ready to use the new assets when delivered; and will work with Line General Managers and their teams to implement migration, transition and changeover plans
."

Full details can be found in the link above and you have until Sunday May 18th 2008 at 1159hrs to apply. It's a very healthy salary to say the least, for what would be a very challenging role.

As well as carrying out the specific duties outlined, candidates require:
  • Extensive planning and organising experience to achieve business objectives
  • Experience of interpreting complex information and communicating findings and recommendations
  • Good understanding of principles of railway operational management
  • Awareness of customer priorities
  • Computer literate with good analytical skill
  • Financial and business acumen
  • Influencing and negotiating skills
  • Good working knowledge of the PPP Contract

God alone knows who would have the last requirement, but if you have, or think you know someone who has you know where to go.

Although perhaps Ian & Pete from The Londoneer might feel qualified as they made very comprehensive notes from the lecture in March.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, May 07, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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TfL win People's Voice Webby's Award

Congrats to Transport for London's website for winning the People's Voice Award for Government in the
Webby's (the Oscars of the internet world)

TfL win Webby's People's Voice Award

It was nice to see two of the sites that I hoped would be in with a chance of winning, actually win the People's Vote.

The other site was MOO who fought off some stiff competition to win the People's Vote in the Services category.

MOO win Webby's People's Voice Award

So congratulations to both.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, May 07, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

20% of London's Tube Drivers are "unsafe"

If you're about to take the London Underground into work this morning take heart that according to the
BBC up to one in five of the trains you could board will have an "unsafe" driver at the controls.

SPAD

The BBC in a Donald MacIntyre Investigation report that "Up to 20% of London Underground train drivers are sent on retraining courses each year because of unsafe driving. About 700 drivers were sent on the courses each year since 2003 for wrongly going through red stop signals.

The figures, which were obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act, include drivers who may have been on courses twice in the same year
."

In each case the drivers (or operators as they like to be called) were retrained as a result of signals passed at danger or SPAD's as they are known in the trade (the reality TV programme The Tube is how I know this), which can occur when the driver (sorry, operator) misjudges the train's braking distance. If a train goes through a red signal the brake system is automatically triggered.

The train operator is then supposed to report this to the control room for advice on when it is safe for the train to proceed. If they don't report the incident it could result in disciplinary action.

Not suprisingly, Transport for London (TfL) assure us that all is well and in a statement said: "There have been no injuries as a result of these incidents.

"It must be noted that as London Underground upgrades its signal system a part of its signal system as part of its current rebuilding program, these incidents will be eliminated by the implementation of automatic train operation."

Well that's nice to know then.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, May 06, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/20-of-londons-tube-drivers-are-unsafe.html

Monday, May 05, 2008

Booze to be banned on the Tube (and London Transport)

At the end of Boris Johnson's mayoral acceptance speech he said the following words about starting his new job: "Let's get cracking tomorrow and let's have a drink tonight". Not exactly wise words for someone whose first London Underground promise is to
call for alcohol on the Tube to be banned. No more cracking good drinks on the Tube then.

Boris Bans Booze on the Tube from an earlier screen grab of The Sun's website

Even one of Boris's supporters Iain Dale claims to find banning not so great (not sure where he stands on banning guns then - but that's by the by) "As a liberal Conservative I instinctively recoil from banning things. However, is it liberal to allow tube users to be abused by drunken louts? No, definitely not. I think this policy will be welcomed by many as long as it is policed properly."

Yes I'm sure we can rely on the new Mayor to police it properly. He got a lot of practice in this morning, just by wearing a policeman's hat. Check out The Sun

By the way loving, Iain Dale's ads for Laithwaites wine all over his blog. It's great that some people can be trusted to booze responsibly and yet it appears there might be a blanket ban on booze.

More on the Tube booze issue on Boriswatch.

Update - 8th May- it will be across the whole public transport network in London from 1st June - see the BBC & today's Metro for more.

No alcohol on public transport sign taken by Drew Post at Baker Street

"The ban, starting on 1 June, on the Tube, buses, trams and Docklands Light Railway is one of his election pledges.

But the Rail Maritime and Transport Union said the policy appeared "not to have been thought through very well" and could make matters worse.
"


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, May 05, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2008/05/booze-to-be-banned-on-tube.html
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