Sunday, 15 July 2012

Transport for London continues to dish up fun, frolics and mayhem in the run up to the Olympics


When things are a bit slow, I can always rely on good old Transport for London to provide something to get my twitching fingers working on.
And this week has been a corker, their cretinous capers have charged on unabated - challenging, infuriating, depressing and confusing the population of the capital with genius reliability.
I could go on about the catastrophe of delays which crippled major lines all week as TfL limps towards London 2012 - the biggest event to be staged in the country, well maybe ever.
But that is getting boring, and it is not even news anymore. 
It would be more newsworthy to report that the trains had actually worked for five days in a row - reality check, this is not Japan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, India or Singapore, this is the UK, where passengers have the daily treat of wondering whether their commute to work will take half an hour or two hours.
I am not going to go on about hundreds of passengers spilling out of the platforms on Thursday evening as the Jubilee Line stopped and started, crippled with signal and train failures, while the DLR hobbled along, delayed, as hold-ups beset other major lines into and out of London.
Nor am I going to go on about the amorous couple who chewed each other's faces off in front of me at 9am on Monday, as I struggled to keep my breakfast down, well, that’s not really TfL’s fault.

No, this week Transport for London, has been working hard to add variety to their repertoire of world-beating incompetence.
The first came to my attention as I observed the confused Spanish family at Canary Wharf Station on their way to Lewisham on the DLR.
That particular line has two platforms, one either side of the train as it pulls in.
The family stood on the platform scratching their heads at the sign which said “Lewisham 19 minutes, and below, Lewisham 27 minutes”.



They implored me to tell them how to reach the other side of the platform where the same train was apparently leaving in just five minutes with another one after that in 10.


Chuckling to myself, I explained that this was just TfL’s way of having a little joke, you know, to spice up the Olympics a bit.
I explained the best thing to do was to get on the first train that comes along and keep everything crossed you end up where you want to in a reasonable time.
I left them, shaking their heads and rubbing their temples in frustration - good one TFL, they’ll be millions more like them in two weeks for you to have fun with.
Cranking up level of the stupidity, we arrive at TfL’s road signage in the run up to the big event.

This I like to call "TfL's Olympic Cluedo" - as I think even Miss Marple may have some difficulty working it out.

Anyone noticed the warnings dotted around the place telling motorists not to drive in the Olympics lanes?
Of course, if you are a motorist, you are forgiven for not having done so, as they are  organised to a degree of complexity that would have Carol Vorderman reaching for her pocket calculator.
Some say 15 Jul- 11 Sept while others say 25 Jul - 14 August.
One lamp post has two identical signs one above the other, just in case the first didn’t make sense TfL?
In one half-mile stretch of road, there are 10 signs, all apparently saying different things.
In any case, motorists who stray into the wrong lane at the wrong time will be slapped with a £130 fine.
All these signs must have cost a lot TfL, though I suspect you may have money (from my road and council tax I presume) to throw at this particular cash-generating machine.


One of your people told me on Friday that there would be traffic enforcement  officers watching the lanes to catch and pull over cyclists who stray into them - and, you guessed it, relieve them of 130 hard-earned smackers.
Truly good work  this week TfL - you have outdone yourselves.

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