Max_Caine

Don't take the train if you're going to London next week

16 posts in this topic

I had the pleasure of travelling into London last week on a little business. I'm lucky enough to live near a High-Speed terminal, so I thought it'd be a hoot to grab my biking gear as dear old Boris Johnson (London's Mayor) is always going on about biking in London. He flips flops on the subject a lot, but hey!

Strike one. No bikes on the train

"What?" says I.

"No bikes on the train unless they are folding ones" says a stern BR chap who looks like he last smiled on his eleventh birthday before his drunk dad came in and stepped on the cake.

"But that's ridculous" says I.

"Don't look at me mate, those are the rules while the Olympics are on."

I argue a bit. All trains have a spot for bikes but then a police officer hanging around by the barriers spots me, and gives me a look that suggests that I should come and have a go if I think I'm hard enough, so grumbling, I lock my bike up.

Strike two. Everyone wants to go the Olympics on my train

Good god. Both going there and coming back, the train was packed like it was peak time. This was going at half 1 in the afternoon, and the train is twelve carriages long! Maybe it was my bad luck, but the people I was sat next to both ways were visibly and very audibly drunk.

Strike three. Olympics or not, trains still don't run

Thanks to someone who wanted to end it all in the most spectacular way possible, I sat for ages in a train that went nowhere. I was then shunted back to the station I just came from, and told to jump on a bus. I was quite upset, as was a lot of other people. And now I was packed like a sardine into a coach with the same drunk people as before!!! >_<

London was alright though. Was expecting to see more people due to the olympics. Guess they're all at Stratford.

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wow! three strikes! moronic officials, drunken morons and a suicide huff (which we get more and more of here too, some sort of shovel in front of the train could be the answer here)

What a shocker of a journey. I'd heard that some people were getting into work really early because the crowds simply weren't materialising that early on. Then there are the businesses that fell for the increased amounts of business line, only to be left with tons of stock they can't shift.

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You must be unlucky mate, I travel into central London every morning for work and it's been absolutely dead, less people on my train getting in to Waterloo for before 9am than there normally is and I've got Wimbledon and my line and come from a stop where the bike road race came through. It's been a piece of piss.

If you're out East London way though, I imagine it is more a pain. Anyway, it's only for a couple of weeks and it's the Olympics, it's awesome to see so many people enjoying good old London town!

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I've read in papers and heard on TV that London has lost tourism due to the Olympics. Is that all a lie?

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I'll tell you what, when I was in London I was expecting it to be as crowded as the train I was on. It wasn't - it was "normal" for a large, cosmopolitan city.

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The Tubes in London have been fine, actually. Even a bit quiet as most of the locals have either buggered off, working from home, or gone to the Olympics. I normall travel in at about 06:30 and it's bussier than usual (as folks seem to have gotten up early to accomodate the tourists) but it's no where near as bad as it was made out to be.

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My trains have ranged from empty to normal - the expected crowds haven't appeared, and sometimes done the opposite. (I travel via London Bridge).

I can sympathise with the bike situation & drunk passengers (Boris banning drinking on all London public transport has made me like the man just for that!), but suicides are ultimately beyond the control of the train operators.

I can also sympathise with the staff and police. The ones you speak of (& to) aren't the ones who have made these rules, but they are the ones who have to enforce them (often with no lee-way allowed), and who receive with the immediate backlash when members of the public object, wether vocally or physically (I've seen both happen.)

Not all police or station staff are models of diplomacy & tact, but to be frank, a lot of countries would give their right arm for a police force half as well trained and professional as the London police. I've also seen station staff go out of their way to help passengers and olympic tourists. I guess I'm just saying don't let the bad days & experiences become your sole focus of London transport, and blind you to the rest.

Edited by Dix

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I'd have to disagree with you there Dix, I don't think the Met are particularly well trained and the majority of the one's I've had to deal with weren't particularly professional either. Awful lot of racists I've noticed in the Met and many times when asked under what law is it that you are stopping/arresting/hindering me, many of them don't have an answer, stay silent or just ridicule. When we get back to the station they just make something up and the staff sergeant of course believes the officer over the, innocent until proven guilty my arse!!!, offender.

Also with the drinking on the tubes, whilst I dislike drunks on the tube also, I find banning drinking on them has meant that many people will just get tanked up BEFORE getting on the tube, thus making the situation worse. If you'd let them have a can whilst on the tube they wouldn't be smashed before they got in in the first place.

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I'll have to stand by my statement. To be clear, I'm not holding the London Met up as flawless paragons or the #1 force in the world, but I have had personal experience of the following in other countries:

-police stating "We have no transport. Come pick us up." when reporting a burglary.

-arrest, prisnor & crime records that do not exist, full stop. Unless the police decide they are needed, and are then altered at will.

-being physically assualted after asking police for help.

-Riot police being deployed on a midnight raid on a university after a political rally.

-Being asked how much I was willing to pay in bribes to get police help.

Police always make an easy target, but if you compare the london police to many national forces, you will find that they are really not that bad. Not by a long shot.

(Our experiences with drinking on the tube must be down to some other factor, maybe just random luck - I've seen much less drunkeness on tubes/buses since the ban went into affect, but that is again just my own personal experience.)

Edited by Dix

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gotta go with Dix on this one. While our police force may be far from perfect, they are easily one of the best around.

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Hey, way better than the cops over here in California.

I live in a pretty well off area (read: SAFEST CITY IN THE NATION) so the cops'll pull you over if you go .1 miles over the speed limit for .5 seconds. And then, you know, sit at a stop-sign intersection for hours on end just waiting for that one guy/gal who doesn't fully stop (read: going .01 mph) for 2 seconds to bust the guy/gal.

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1) A certain over officious law enforcement group should be reminded by the citizens exactly who serves whom.

or

2) busting lots of people to prevent the chance of a traffic incident is a good thing. The more people are busted, the less they will do it (hopefully)

- this question is brought to you by How to Build Your Totalitarian State in 1000 Easy Steps, available from all good behavioural modification centres in Eurasia.

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Hey, way better than the cops over here in California.

I live in a pretty well off area (read: SAFEST CITY IN THE NATION) so the cops'll pull you over if you go .1 miles over the speed limit for .5 seconds. And then, you know, sit at a stop-sign intersection for hours on end just waiting for that one guy/gal who doesn't fully stop (read: going .01 mph) for 2 seconds to bust the guy/gal.

in my experience (also lives in california) if the cops are hitting up honest people for ticket money then they probably are doing so for some shortfall in the law enforcement area of government. therefore the safest places can be seen by police not hassling honest folk, and also clean streets. look at walnut creek, martinez and oakland. in walnut creek the cops are around, but rarely do you see them pulling anyone over, typically they sit back and watch. in oakland if you call them they might ask you if you are getting robbed at this very second, and if not then they probably won't bother. in martinez you most likely will get pulled over if you drive a nice car, and if you dress nice you'll get a nice fat ticket. haven't really spent much time in irvine though, so maybe it is an oddity.

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You get a ticket for dressing nice? Not sure that'll hold up in court.

It may be nice, but is it fashionable? BEWARE THE FASHION POLICE!

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2) busting lots of people to prevent the chance of a traffic incident is a good thing. The more people are busted, the less they will do it (hopefully).

The thing is, everyone slows down to a near stop for around and stay that way for 3 seconds. And that's AFTER slowing down, usually from 25mph for 4-6 seconds.

haven't really spent much time in [REDACTED] though, so maybe it is an oddity.

The police are utter asshats here. Like I said, they'll pull you over even if you were going 46mph for about 2 seconds in a 45mph stretch of road.

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