Transport in London, the Jubilee Line etc.

These days it is almost impossible getting around London at the weekends because so many tube lines are closed for (apparently) engineering work. The Jubilee Line has been generally closed at the weekends for years.

Why? It is so hard to believe that there is so much that has to be done to the line to warrant it being closed almost every weekend, over bank holidays, Christmas, New Year, Easter & sometimes at other times when the line just isn’t running. The trouble is that if we the public are told that the entire line has been suspended because of signalling problems, how do we know any different?

I wonder what the real reason is. The Jubilee Line is a modern line. It was built, as far as I remember, in the last 2 or 3 decades & the rolling stock, I think is only about 15 years old. Admittedly when the present rolling stock was introduced in the nineties, I think, there was something wrong with it. The trains were too wide or too narrow, I forget which. And that had to be corrected. It did seem like a strange thing to happen but at least it is a mistake which one can imagine as credible, within the bounds of human fallibility.

When we are enclosed on a tube train on the Circle, Metropolitan or Hammersmith & City Lines & we are told that we have wait in a tunnel because of a build-up of trains in front of us, we know that this cannot possibly be true because there are so few trains on that line. One assumes the driver has stopped because if he arrives too soon he will miss out on overtime. It is the same on all lines that I have used. Even lines I use only occasionally seem to suffer regularly from these events. One time, not recently in fact, I was stuck on the Piccadilly Line between stops for as far as I remember half an hour, it might have been an hour. I can’t remember what it was they told us, if anything; probably a signalling problem. It seems to be the be all & end all excuse. When we are told that an entire line has been closed because there has been a fire at one station on the line it is difficult to know what to believe.

Going on buses can be a strange & awful experience as well. Drivers refusing to let passengers on at bus stops, even though the bus is obviously far from full. Suddenly tipping people off the bus, sometimes between stops, for no apparent reason & driving on with an empty bus. This just happens so often but somehow we, the public, just don’t seem to get used to it. It is always just so annoying, especially when the weather is cold. Those useful little countdown machines at bus stops, seem to be disappearing. I gather that it is a case of when they break down they are just not being replaced or mended.

And then there is Capital Connect. It is a useful way for me to go to Cricklewood where I live. Useful & quick when the line is working properly that is. But on occasion the train is more than an hour late & when it does arrive, so crowded, that standing is something of an ordeal.

And all this is without the added hell of screaming children, badly behaved young people wreaking havoc with their “music” playing loudly. Often on the tubes, the young have the seats & old people have to stand. I don’t understand why people take their babies on the tube during the rush hour. It seems totally irresponsible & irrational.

We are sometimes told that it is all because of the Olympics, something that to me defies logic. Crossrail for example, the construction of which is disrupting much of London, isn’t going to be ready for years until after the London Olympics have taken place.

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