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Tube overcrowding: your emails

Crowds queue to get on an Underground train

Read a selection of your emails about your experiences travelling on the Underground after a report claims overcrowding means passengers often have to psych themselves up before boarding trains.

Anna Blackwell

My view is that too many people use the tube unnecessarily. I see people take the tube for only one stop. These people should walk instead or take the bus. On the other hand, many people use the tube to travel long distances when it would be far more effective for them to use over ground rail services. People need to be educated more about how to get around London instead of relying solely on the tube the whole time.

Carol Dodson

Where are Health & Safety? They get involved in petty issues Surely this is a major Health and Safety issue ?

Phil, W12

I bet there are loads of industries who could operate outside the normal 9-5 hours, so why not make life easier for yourselves, and others?

A small change to our culture could make a big difference. Some countries in Europe just don't do it!

Ian Lynch

I recently visited London from 'The Barbaric North'. I had to travel across London from Euston. In the morning I was using the Tube at 9am, in the return journey that afternoon, it was 4pm. I don't know how the rush-hour is in London, or whether there's any marked difference at any particular times of the day but I didn't find it that bad. I've been more cramped on a Double Decker bus from Wolverhampton to Birmingham than I was that day, either trip.

It sometimes feels hardly worth going out at the weekend to face the tension and discomfort of tube travel that we experience to and from work five days a week.
Toby Fournier, commuter

I love London, visiting whenever I get the opportunity, by train (I wouldn't drive there if you paid me) then getting a day ticket for unlimited tube travel.

It's an experience, in no way intimidating, just give in to it, let it wash over you, and become part of it. That might sound a bit Zen for people, but it does work. See every trip as something to get the most out of, even if you do the same trip every day, there's always new people travelling with you.

If you do one thing today, travelling on the Tube, look up, see one other person on that train, take time to paint a mental picture of them, what can you tell about them? What do they suggest to you they do for a living, make a whole back story, wife, boyfriend, house, spy, banker, Casino boss, Time Lord… OK that last one I only thought up once, but the guy reminded me of David Tennant, there's no rules! Before long, you notice that the press around you is just people. The same as you, just trying to get home.


What about the disabled?

I have a disablity and need to use the tube to get to work. I don't get offered a seat even with a walking stick!!!!


I commute from Highgate station on the Northern Line into the City every morning. I usually cope with the overcrowding by letting the packed-out trains go through the station before I will contemplate boarding. I have to constantly rationalise the desire to have a 'humane' journey to work against the slow erosion of professional reputation caused by arriving later at the office.

I regularly watch in amazement (and a degree of disgust) as people stuff themselves into already packed carriages. The capacity of London to transact business is definitely being degraded by its underperforming transport system which is also a key reason why good experienced people decide it just isn't worth it anymore and move away. I cannot see any way in which this problem will get better on the Northern Line in the next 10 years.


People need to "move right down inside the carriages" and "make use of all available space"

Robert D Keenan

My journeys to and from work use the Central and Northern lines and are generally OK - with a good chance of getting a seat for most, if not all, of the journey. The reason is that my office moved its start and finish times to 9.30am and 6pm.

This avoids the worst of the rush hour. Also, my journey begins and ends at the eastern end of the Central Line so trains are fairly empty when they arrive in the mornings and have emptied out by the time the arrive in the evenings.

Changing the office hours may be difficult for many, but it works for us.

Toby Fournier

Getting around London on the tube system at the weekend had become purgatory. The trains on the lines that are running are as or more crowded than at rush hour. I have a feeling that this is happening now so London and Boris Johnson aren't embarrassed during the Olympics. So weekends are this bad for political reasons. It sometimes feels hardly worth going out at the weekend to face the tension and discomfort of tube travel that we experience to and from work five days a week.

Why does the Jubilee line extension section need upgrading when it was only built 10 years ago? That cost billions then and we now have to pay billions more? Why? Can we not recoup some of the cost off whoever was responsible for not doing a proper job the first time around? I know - it was probably TfL.

Re upgrading - Why can't work be carried out during night hours? There is no reason that upgrading works cannot be carried out between say 12.30am and 5.30am all week.

Regarding upgrading - Why aren't we given information? What are their targets? When will this work finally be completed? What phase of the work are we in? Break it down tube line by tube line. We have no information on this at all.

Regarding overcrowding - The only solution to this is for TfL to get the bloody work done or hope for a double dip recession.

Andrew Sutherland

Yes the journey is awful.

I live in Archway and work in Hammersmith. No problems up until a year ago when I was diagnosed with MS. I now have to permanently hobble with a crutch which is a bit annoying for a 27-year-old. However, do you think that when I get on, people offer me a seat? No! They stare and then look away, read their paper or pretend to sleep.

Now, if I need to sit down I resort to giving them a guilt trip and standing in front of them until they offer me a seat. (Dog eat dog?)

I now leave my house at 7:30 in the morning, to get to work an hour earlier than my colleagues so that the train is not so packed. Is that what i pay a grand for? I think not!!

Sorry I could rant for ages on this topic.

Tube crowds 'at shocking levels'
01 Dec 09 |  London
Jubilee Line faces more closures
24 Nov 09 |  London


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