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I'm sure everyones heard the old London Underground parody now and it's fair to say really most of it's true... I really dread using it to go to work now! I live in Upminster and work in Oxford Circus so I use the Central and District line everyday. I also use the Jubilee line ocassionally as I'm a Bluewater fanatic and you can get to Greenithe via London Bridge. :P Well I'll start with customer service on the Underground.
Customer Services: They are not very helpful, I recently moved to Upminster not long ago and required my annual ticket to be changed-over as I used to live in Romford. They seemed a bit baffled by this and it took them several days to get my changeover sorted... I never really directly go to the sales assistants there because they never seem to know much. A friend of mine has been told a totally wrong route before by a member of staff! I'm sure everyones aware how much the staff get there so it would be nice if they were a bit more helpful, especially as London attracts so many tourists. The tannoy is absolutely useless. I never understand what is being said. It would be much better if they recorded a lot of the information, because let's face it, it's usually something being said about a signal failure or some twat has left their handbag so there is a security alert. There is a recorded automated system for these announcements at Upminster and Barking, not Underground stations, and they are alot easier to understand.
Reliablity: I don't think they are very reliable. Nearly every morning when I get the district line to Mile End it will stop before Barking for ten minutes, no driver over the tannoy to say why, nothing, that's just it. When it is delayed its bad, they will put speed restrictions on and it will take forever to get to the next stop. The district line also apparentely runs every 6-10mins but half of the time this is not true. It is a filthy train as well, as I am at the end of the line I often see the cleaners version of "cleaning" which is picking up some of it and leaving half the newspapers sprawled all over the place. Central line is just as bad, a horrible cramped train, too hot on there, especially in the summer... It's a nightmare when the Central line goes down, I am sure it's one of the most popular lines and it's absolute chaos whe it freqently goes down. Like I said, there is never good explnations from the Underground why delays are happening, they will just keep you waiting around. Also, what's wirh all the signal failures? This seems to be a constant problem with the delays on the Underground. They spend nearly every weekend shutting most of the LU down to perform enginerring works and apparentely, to "Improve the Underground" but it's still the same! Secondly, another big cause for delays, bags found on platforms. I know it has to be done, but seriously, does it take nearly TWO hours to sort it out if a bag has been left on the platform?
Comfort and Cleanliness: They are not comfortable trains. The district line throws you about like there's no tomorrow and the central line is a tight squeeze. You cannot be a little bit overweight to squeeze your behind in the tiny seats on the central. The central line is a lot smoother though. As for cleanliness, this is non exsistant. Anyone who has been on the District line of a night time will know. Puke in the corner, beer cans sprawled all over the place. Even in the mornings when the train has been coming back and foruth you\ll see them free Metro papers thrown across the train and empty Starbucks cups everywhere. There should also be some sort of smell test because everytime I seem to go on in the mornings I'm standing up wth someone reaching to hold them dangly things at the top so there armpit is shoved in my face, with the pleasant smell of BO!
Speed: Central line is a fast train, very good speed. The District line twaddles along stopping and starting all the time! But yeah when the central line is running on time the speed is excellent.
Overall it could do with improvements, I say when it's on a good day it's brilliant for travelling around London, on a bad day it's just an absolute nightmare!
Your comment about cleanliness is spot on. It's not as though I expect perfect cleanliness, but I'll never forget when I was at Charing Cross station and at one end of the platform there were about three or four rats running around on the actual platform. There were some tourists who saw them and looked quite frightened. I felt ashamed.
trevorbrock 16.07.2006 01:21
I understand your feelings - I had a very frustrating day or two on the district and circle lines a fortnight ago - and I was just in the city for my annual conference. ! Having said that, your review is a bit limited, and is well worthwhile expanding on. Why not go back to your own review page, click on the link to edit it, and add your experiences of the rest of the underground. It is really helpful to visitors to London to have the experiences of the locals on the transport system - Trevor
earlofaldgate 16.07.2006 00:37
claim - i get about £50 back every month from met line delays - that sone line you get thrown all over with if you sit at the ends rather than the middle