Monday, 29 October 2012

Getting around in London


I just plain don't get public transport in London, on multiple levels. According to the CIA, those purveyors of openness and truth, the UK is the 9th most powerful country in the world (by purchasing power), and London, despite the smell, is supposed to be the rose of the country.

So if London is so good, why the hell are all the trains so full? I'm 6 inches long (ladies) and I JUST fit onto the 1713 from Denmark Hill. JUST. As in, I was sitting on the shoe of a consultant radiologist, which was rammed up against the door. Call me a Red (I'm not, I'm golden), but I think a capitalist train company should have to take no profit if their trains are so full people have to take a dump on the platform just to fit on. It doesn't take a genius to work out that more trains are needed at peak times than non-peak times. Stuff <insert train company>'s profits, they compete once every six years and give projected figures that they appear to be under no obligation to justify.

*Indignant chewing of carrot*

But its not just the trains. The stations are just as bad. I thought the Paralympics were excellent, if ironically lacking in running wheel-based events. So why, in this apparently economically prosperous country, can I not get down to the platform in my ball at every station? It's alright for me, I can just ask a passing student to carry me down, but at the majority of train and underground stations, someone in a wheelchair would not be able to get to the platform. And you know what? That's not ok. It has never been ok, but now, in the 21st century, when information flies through the air to those little black boxes that every human seems to carry, IT IS NOT OK THAT DISABLED PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT. The word public is in the title for a reason.

*Eats some poo... yeah that's right, poo. Coprophagy, baby, look it up*

But, indignant commuting British public, it's not just The Man who needs to sort himself out. We, hamsters and humans alike, need to start having a bit of common sense and courtesy. If the next train doesn't come for 15 minutes, you don't need to barge through 1000 people climbing the stairs to get down to the platform. If there's 2 metres of empty train in front of you, move away from the door. If someone's waiting to get on the train you're getting off, you don't actually need to punch them on the nose in order to get past. You can, in fact, walk round them. I doubt your tea will get much colder for not being a prick.

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