Transport As We Knew It
I hadn’t been on public transport of any form for 15 months – like lots of people.
But the bank holiday weekend changed that!
We decided to travel from our home in Hove to London to see an exhibition (Hockney –brilliant) and to meet the kids for lunch to celebrate the various landmark birthdays that had occurred during the lockdown (also brilliant).
I have been to London a few times during this period but always by car.
But logistics demanded this time would need to be by public transport.
“It was so crowded that there was no chance of social distancing – a reminder of what travelling by rail regularly is likely to get back to quite soon.”
Started off with trepidation but encouraged by the bus to the station turning up in three minutes just like the information board said. Learnt something though which was a bit worrying – you can sit anywhere ‘because we have kept the windows open’?
And renewing my railcard at Brighton Station was also easy and in a much safer queuing environment. But why hadn’t they taken the time to sort out the ticket vending algorithm to make it easy for me to add a travelcard onto the ticket rather than having to go into the booking office a second time? Why Southern?
The train was pretty empty and most people were wearing masks – so good.
There were no trains to Victoria so the advice was to travel to Blackfriars and get the District line.
Just what we did – BUT there was no District line for the bank holiday weekend – funny that I didn’t hear that announced on the train Thameslink. Judging by the scores of people seemingly in the same position it was clear that there was no such announcement. Surely, up to date and helpful comms is even more essential now when people are taking faltering baby steps to re-learn the system.
“Overall, this trial run showed that there needs to be a focus on good communications and safety in crowded circumstances – a lot of work to be done!”
And, of course, this meant that the tubes were packed but most people were courteous, caring and mask-wearing – a real positive to counter the concerns of over-crowding.
As a postscript, we travelled back to Brighton/Hove on the bank holiday Monday.
It was so crowded that there was no chance of social distancing – a reminder of what travelling by rail regularly is likely to get back to quite soon.
Overall, this trial run showed that there needs to be a focus on good communications and safety in crowded circumstances – a lot of work to be done!