Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Of Signs and Stress

I bang on about indicator boards and the like but that is because it's important. Few things are more stressful on the Underground than waiting for trains when you don't know how long you have to wait. The modern indicators that display the next three or four arrivals set the standard for how information should be provided. So it is sad when they put up new boards that do nothing but state the bleedin' obvious. Consider the Bakerloo platforms at Waterloo. There are old style boards, rather hard to see at a distance, but they do at least show the next three trains. New boards are going up. They are bright and clear but display nothing except the time and stuff like "Northbound trains". What is the point? One assumes that they will actually be used to show train arrivals (given that the same data is already on the TFL website) so why do they not do so now?

And whilst on this subject what about my home station at Ruislip Manor? It was equipped with new boards a couple of years ago that are as useful to passengers as the non-working "emergency" help points. What a waste of our money.


  1. We've been wondering the same at Pinner. Especially when trains aren't all that regular (on average every 10 mins with us) it would be good to know how much you can relax before taking up a strategic position on the platform to get a plum seat and whether one should commence pacing, shaking of head and tutting :P

    Always good to come across fellow bloggers in the area. Keep sharing the commuting stories!

  2. I don't know the layout at Pinner - the seats are evenly spaced at RM so no problem being in the best spot. As to pacing and headshaking etc, there is an art to this and it needs delicate judgement. You don't want to be taken as a nutter out on day release, but for maximum impact you have to get your tutting in first, at the exactly right psychological moment. Hmm, this needs a bit of thought.

  3. This post is now out of date. The new signs on the Bakerloo platform at Waterloo are working well.(But the Jubilee sign in the entrance in the south bank is still unable to display anything, 3 months after it went up)