Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Bank-Monument: They want to scare you away

Still wondering why passageways without escalators have been closed for escalator refurbishment? This internal staff briefing document has answers [hosted by Going Underground]. In particular, read the "Why will this help?" section.

The logic goes:

  1. One of the two main routes to the DLR needs to be closed, so...
  2. The other route will have to become up only to provide extra capacity, which requires...
  3. Passengers going down to the DLR to use a temporary route via the Northern Line platforms, but...
  4. Those platforms are too crowded, so...
  5. The aforementioned passageways will also be closed in order to...
  6. Make interchange to the Central and Waterloo & City Lines so difficult that...
  7. Passengers get exasperated and go elsewhere...
  8. Reducing the crowding on the Northern Line platforms.
I can't figure out whether this is bonkers or genius.

14 comments:

D-Notice said...

Well, you have to admire their logic...

dgeezer said...

One thing's for sure. It isn't genius.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how angry I was on Monday.
I only get the tube twice a week. Monday morning, Friday evening.
It's a simple journey; Waterloo, Waterloo and City, down the quick 2 minute walkway, to the northern line, then two stops north to Old Street. Takes about 15/20 minutes.

I heard the man's patronising and evil PA messages the week before, so made sure to read the leaflet about the changes. No mention of the W&C line, and said you can change for Bank, "great", I thought, "no need to worry. they can probably keep that quick way open, as they've just refurbished that last week."

I got off the W&C line on Monday only to find my quick exit path closed. "Why is this route closed?" "Oh, because there will be machinery travelling up and down there at some point and there may be oil on the pathway. It's for your safety." Right, you're closing most of the rest of the station.. leaving that very handy exit down to the Northern line would've been sensible no?

So instead, I had the joy of ascending to the ground level by the staggered stairs, touching out through the gates, and walking some more, partially lost, luckily it's quite well signed. I will point out now I started with £1.80 on my Oyster Card; That's fine, it's a zone 1-1 trip, normally costs me £1.50.
So I get to another set of gates, which are open, but touch in anyway. More walking, slow lift back down to the level I was on before, walk down a walkway, and finally I'm back where I started, and I decend the stairs to the northern line platform. 5-10 minutes extra time?

Up to this point you're probably thinking "what a whining old bastard" - True... I don't like change, it's annoying. But what's more annoying is this:
I get to Old Street, DURRR "Seek Assistance" as I try and touch out. Ask the guard who patronisingly tells me I've known about the work for weeks so I should've taken another route, and shows me a leaflet. I ask him where it says anything about the W&C line and he says "oh err, good point." I explain that I can't get out of the barrier, presumably because its trying to charge me another £1.50 and I only have 30p left now. He lets me out after some more discussion, and I go on my way. Later in the day I check and sure enough, the guy printed out a recipet for me that shows I was blocked from leaving for invalid funds. A crap and hurrendous mess.

They've certainly scared me away, but I'm not a tube expert... I don't know the best ways to go, and frankly the idea of getting lost scares me a little bit. I liked my routine, it was quick. I knew which side of the train the platforms were, I knew which bit of the train to get in... I definitely look forward to see what happens on Friday..

/end rant.

Anonymous said...

by the way, the walkway I refer to that I usually take is on your diagram, purply pink coming off platform 7 of the Waterloo and City line. Even looks fast on that map doesn't it!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

I got charged for 2 journeys too. Someone on here said that it should count as one journey if you cross the barriers within 30 mins, not true in my experience.

Max Roberts said...

What happens if you go through the ticket hall to change from Central to W&C. I only use paper travelcards, no high tech Oyster in deepest essex, but IIRC that route is even signposted from one end of the platform.

Anonymous said...

As already said. It isn't genius. And it can only get worse when they close TowerG in a few weeks.
Looks like I'll have to try bus 135 when it starts

phl said...

I suspected this was the thinking behind the "no interchange" propaganda and the deliberately vague and misleading press releases and information leaflet. Unfortunately "use alternative routes" is a bit of a joke as it's such a major interchange.

What I find especially galling is that there's never even a hint of apology or regret for the disruption and delays, not over the PA, not in the literature, not on the website. Instead, the announcements almost seethe with contempt that you have the affront to be using the station at all.

It's all going to be so much more fun when they close Tower Gateway in a few months too ...

Alan said...

It strikes me as really brainless to close TG at the same time as BankDLR is so difficult to access. What idiot makes thes decisions?

Anonymous said...

It still baffles me that it can take 18 months to refurbish a pair of escalators. Office buildings go up in less time than that. With escalators in them.

I assume it's at least partly due to unionised labour refusing to work evenings and weekends, or pretty much at all. During the escalator work they've just finished at Bank, begun in December 2006, it was rare to actually see any sign of work occurring at all.

Tom said...

Do office buildings under construction have to share their site and access with thousands of commuters? Thought not.

Anonymous said...

As someone who starts his journey on the Beckton branch, I'm in for a triple whammy.

1) As of later this month, in the rush hour trains will stop at Poplar
2) Tower Gateway is closing for 9 months
3) If I go into Bank, I would then need to change to the Central Line, but that means I now have to deal with the no interchange nonsense.

Will have to think of an alternate route

phl said...

Actually, as of this morning, both the W&C tunnel and the Central line stairs were open one-way from the top of the DLR/Northern escalators. Seems that sense may have prevailed.

Anonymous said...

Well, if that's the logic, surely dissuading people from interchanging is better than the inevitable frequent station evacuations due to overcrowding that would doubtless result otherwise.