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Friday, February 18, 2011

London Underground Apologies

Last night's Northern Line delays were caused by "water ingress in the tunnel". Luckily it doesn't sound like some sort of dramatic flooding, but I wonder how many people were told that the delays and part suspension were due to "water on the line"?

Northern Line - Apology

There was much grumbling on Twitter as the ubiquitous "signal failure" was the blame for the delays. Tube drivers themselves (as is usually the case) didn't know what was causing the problem.

One frustrated female driver said "Can't get any information out of anyone, it's like talking to my husband ...".  (heard by @chrisgolds)

I know it doesn't help speed up our journey, but I certainly prefer to know what's causing the problem. It helps people appreciate the frustrations of staff more and also helps me guestimate whether I should  make an alternative route (if I'm not already stuck on the line).

Thanks to the major grumblings on Twitter & a TfL email alert I decided to avoid the Northern Line. So I went home using the Waterloo & City Line & South West Trains from Waterloo (the District Line also had problems).  It was interesting to see screens at Waterloo station advising the weekend's engineering works,  accompanied by pictures of guys working on the tracks.  Real photographs and not those standard cartoons.

Transforming your Tube by Richard Parmiter
Transforming your Tube by Richard Parmiter


Which reminded me of Tube boss Peter Hendy's promise that we would see more of this on the London Underground.  So where is it now though?  It's great to have an apology & an explanation of problems after the event, but why does it take so long for the reason behind line failures to get to staff & us poor travellers who use the service?

What do you think of London Underground apologies?  Do you think more could be done to keep us informed?  How & where would you like to see LU explain themselves?


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