Posts Tagged ‘london underground’
Designs for the new-look London Underground trains has been unveiled and it’s bad news for the drivers, as they’ve been written out. No wonder they’re going on strike.
Yep, the new trains are driverless and will run on the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines.
Perhaps it will be like a DLR arrangement where they’ve made YOU the driver, or at least you’re the driver after you punched a small child to get that seat anyway.
Paul Priestman, director at PriestmanGoode, says: “TfL wanted the New Tube for London to celebrate the great history of transport design in London, whilst acting as a beacon of innovative 21st century public transport.”
“We took inspiration from iconic London landmarks and key attributes of British design to create a tube that is beautiful, simple, functional and maintainable.”
What he fails to mention is that they aren’t due on the tracks anytime soon, with 2020 being the ‘going into service’ date.
Priestman continues: “London’s Tube is one of the most iconic trains around the world. We are proud to have designed something that it is part of the very fabric of London life, celebrating all that’s great about London’s environment; cutting edge technology, rich history and diversity. The New Tube for London will take the city into the future by enriching the everyday journey of its passengers.”
They’ll still hum of commuter B.O. though.
If you’re travelling into or around the capital next week, prepare for a rough commute – London Underground workers are set to strike again next week as part of the long running dispute over ticket office closures.
Strike action starts at 9pm on Tuesday 14th October and runs for 48hrs, enough time to really piss off workers and those reliant on The Tube right before the weekend.
Octobers planned strikes are the latest walkout in RMT’s “Every Job Matters” campaign. Recent talks between the union and London Underground have fallen flat and whilst the union said small amounts of progress had been made, it clearly wasn’t enough to satisfy RMT’s executives after months and months of negotiations and meeting room fun.
Aside from the loss of all ticket offices and over 750 jobs by 2015, RMT’s Mick Cash said that the closures and staff loss would “render the tube a no-go zone for many people with disabilities and for women travelling alone”.
Not patronising at all.
It’s September 12 2015. Oh.
The launch coincides with the Rugby World Cup happening in That London in the same month. Quite why the powers-that-be have timed it for rugby, is a quandary future generations will puzzle at.
Trains will run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays on five lines to coincide with the tournament.
The Night Tube will run six trains per hour through central London on the Jubilee, Victoria and Piccadilly, Central and eight trains an hour on the busiest section of the the Northern line.
It’s hoped that the 24-hour service will give a £360m boost to the economy over the next decade and almost 2000 jobs to be created.
The Night Tube will be self-funding as a projected £291m in additional fare revenue will cover the £287m operational and capital costs, according to TfL.
Novelty human Boris Johnson said: “London is a bustling, 24-hour global city and by this time next year we’ll have a 24-hour Tube service to match. Running trains all through the night was once thought impossible, but with the huge investment we’ve put in and upgrades that have been delivered we stand ready to take the Tube to the next level.”
Quite why it’s taken them so long to get around to it, when it dawned on them that it’s self-financing, is again, another mystery. Anyway. The evenings of being slightly terrified on a night bus are over! Now, you’ll be terrified in a tube deep underground instead. Amazing.
The company has become the latest in the line of rivals who’ve set up similar around the tube network.
Under the proposals, lockers will be located in the car parks at – well, not exactly underground underground – Finchley Central and Newbury Park, joining nearly 300 locations around the UK where Amazon offers the service.
This follows London Underground’s tests with click and collect points for Asda last year, and is doing similar with Tesco, Waitrose and Inpost at other stations.
Picking up packages in car parks? Sounds a bit Arthur Daley…
Since the surge in clicking and collecting, Network Rail have since set up a venture with Travelex to pour £24 million into 300 Doddle pick up points. Most major retailers have cottoned on to the wonders of click and collect, offering any service at all to customers who’d rather not leave their goods to the vagaries of the post office.
Amazon has also put collection lockers in stores including Co-op outlets, as its rival eBay teams up with Argos. Meanwhile retailers including John Lewis are working with Collect+, a scheme that allows shoppers to pick up and return items bought online at more than 5,000 independent retailers.
A man, who is a commercial development director at Transport for London, and whose name is Graeme Craig, said: ”Our click and collect partnerships have been extremely successful and we look forward to bringing more of the services our customers want to our network.”
He went on to say that the Amazon bunk-up was part of a wider strategy to generate £3.5 billion in the years to come.
If you’re flying from Heathrow next week, be aware – members of the RMT are planning to walk out at 3am on April 29th for 48 hours. It’s all down to a fight between the London Underground and the RMT over a so-called ‘toxic’ reorganisation of the workforce, (ie, replacing humans with MACHINES) which could threaten 953 jobs – 200 of which concern Heathrow Express staff.
Heathrow Express are trying to resolve the dispute, but if RMT staff walk out, they reckon they have what it takes to deal with staff shortages and keep trains running. Trying to keep the panic out of his press release, Heathrow Express MD Keith Greenfield said:
‘A strike is not the answer. It will increase costs when we are trying to reduce them, taking us further away from what we need to do to secure our business for the future. However… we have a robust contingency plan that will enable us to run regular trains for as long as any industrial action lasts.’
Meanwhile, the RMT have confirmed a five day tube strike, starting on April 28th until April 30th, then again between May 5th and May 8th.
So if you’re Heathrow bound, you could take the risk that the trains are running. Or you might want to reconsider your plans, or bring a sturdy pair walking boots. Or a skateboard. Or a jetpack. Or just stay in bed until the middle of May – which would be easier.
We need to have this in Britain, MAINTENANT. The Paris Metro has issued 12 commandments of good behaviour on public transport, based on suggestions from the beleaguered public.
Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’, the mischievous online guide asks the public not to indulge in various anti-social activities on Le Metro, like playing music, gawping at attractive women, and peeing on the floor.
Of course they do it with typical Parisian flair, using amusing old-fashioned illustrations. And it’s as backhanded and sarcastic as it is charming. It asks passengers to help tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a Metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’. It also manages to have a dig at tourists trying to pronounce the names of the stations. AW HAW HAW HAW.
Still, it really sets the bar for other global cities to introduce a public transport etiquette guide. The London underground could really use one. Perhaps it could include: no groping, no human interaction, no elbowing, no playing the trombone, no eating tuna sandwiches, no wildly careless applications of bronzer, no farting, no phlegm and no selfies.
Oh, and none of THIS, s’il vous plait.
Six months after it launched in North America, Amazon Coins have been propelled into the UK and German marketplace. Of course, we’ve already got money that works perfectly well, but Amazon clearly felt the need to create their own currency.
Of course, this is a virtual currency and you can use it to buy paid apps and the like, from the Amazon for Android Appstore. That’s if developers buy into the idea.
Obviously, Amazon think it’ll be worth our while, saying: ”For many Indie developers, Coins has accounted for the majority of their revenue since Coins launched in the US.” The company have celebrated the launch by giving away a small amount of virtual-dough to Kindle Fire owners, most of whom will be looking blankly at it, wondering what to do with it. Maybe buy a virtual bookmark?
As for the exchange rate, 400 Amazon Coins is worth £4 according to Amazon. Naturally, Amazon haven’t forgotten about real money as they are looking at moving into the London Underground. Tube users might not be able to get tickets anymore, but they will be able to buy gadgets and whatnot.
As the Underground is closing their ticket offices (so they can go 24 hours), Amazon are looking at moving in. It has been reported that Transport for London are talking to Amazon about converting ticket offices to drop-off points for goods.
Asda has already announced they’re moving into the Tube, so customers can pick up groceries when they’re not at home to take deliveries.
If the High Street is struggling, maybe it should look to moving everything underground, like some Dystopian sci-fi film?
As a reward for sitting in a packed tin can and moving like a sluggish turd through the bowels of London every day, city commuters may soon be able to pick up their shopping at the tube station. Asda are currently talking to Transport for London to install click and collect points at 6 underground station car parks – with a plan to add 1000 more if the scheme takes off.
So you can order your food before noon, and pick it up from 4pm the same day, without having to walk really far with a bunch of bags.
Asda said: ‘Customers in the South East tell us that they want the prices and quality provided by Asda value but they can’t access it easily. This tie-up with TfL solves that. We’ve led the way in click-and-collect by bringing Asda to where customers are rather than expecting them to come to us.’
Click and collect will be available at East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, Highgate, High Barnet, Epping and Stanmore.
But while this is very modern and convenient, there are couple of issues here. What will become of the local shops, who sell you Koka noodles and blue WKD for an extortionate price? Also, why can’t it be a decent supermarket, like Waitrose?
Despite the fact loads of people have died on London’s new bicycle super highway, thanks to it being a long strip of deathly errors, commuters and Londoners have been told that, if they don’t like The Tube, they should cycle or walk.
Instead of trying to improve their services, Transport for London (TfL) are basically saying ‘don’t like it? Tough’.
A TfL spokesman said: “For example if you get the Tube at Clapham North to Stockwell just to transfer to the Victoria Line maybe you could instead walk as it would only take 10 minutes. Or could you start your journey 10 minutes earlier to avoid the crowds?”
Basically, the TfL have kicked off a pilot project, starting today, which hopes to ease commuters’ journeys by telling them to go away. A novel approach. Imagine if all businesses said “we’re going to reduce the number of complaints we get by sticking our fingers in our ears until moaners either give up or die.”
A spokesman from website Commuting Expert chucked their hat in the ring, saying: ”Transport costs are going up and up while salaries stay flat so it is frustrating when the service you’re paying for isn’t the service you’re being recommended to use.”
The Underground is London is tricky enough, but things get a whole load worse when gasping bell-ends get on and start treating it like they’re at home.
Over on Twitter, Chris Smith saw some berk hanging their shirts up, demanding behaviour like this “has to stop”.
Of course, this reminds us of ‘The Worst Woman In The World’ who decided to sprawl out with a book like she was Barbara Cartland. Would any court or jury go against anyone murdering these over-familiar swine?
EE, Vodafone and Virgin all offer WiFi on the London Underground and, not ones to miss a trick, O2 have decided to get on-board with the Tube. If you’re on Three, tough.
O2 have some technical problems to deal with if they want to impress their customers. Virgin have been pulling their hair out over a problem that sees customers’ connection dropping out every time a train enter a tunnel.
Seeing as the Tube is a long network of tunnels filled with trains, that’s a big problem.
Either way, people need to talk this up. Mark Williamson, Head of London Wi-Fi at Virgin Media, said: “Wi-Fi on London Underground has gone from strength to strength and we’re delighted the majority of Londoners are staying connected for no extra cost. Virgin Media’s unique fibre optic network means we deliver unrivalled capacity for next generation digital services both inside and outside the home, meeting the increasing demand for wireless services.”
Virgin will be connecting more stations soon, looking at Acton Town, Baker Street, Bank, Caledonian Road, Earl’s Court, Holland Park, Ladbroke Grove, Maida Vale, Queen’s Park, Shepherd’s Bush, Sloane Square and West Ruislip.
Soon, Londoners will be able to lead their entire life without ever talking to each other.
Journeying on the London Underground is, for the most part, as joyless as it gets, breathing in dead air and flatulence and being ignored by every other scurrying human down there.
And so, someone bring a little sunshine to proceedings is a Tube worker on the Victoria line who toasts like a dancehall MC while doing his announcements.
He says, in the video above: “This train is for all the Brixton crew. Service update, everything irie, everyting cris. Chill out, kick back, no need let anybody cramp your style” before signing off with “Rastaman driver, take these beautiful people to their destination.”
Of course, most miserable Londoners don’t even acknowledge this fine, cheery man. However, he’s becoming something of an online hit thanks to the rest of us who have a vague semblance of heart. Good work that man!
Here’s another enormous boon for EE customers – well the London-based ones anyway. Once the free period of Underground-based wi-fi from Virgin Media comes to an end at the end of the year, you’ll still be able to get the service for gratis, nil, nada etc if you’re part of #TeamEE.
EE tweeted the news yesterday, before deleting it again, suggesting that the official announcement wasn’t supposed to have actually been announced yet. It seems probable that other mobile providers will also hook up with Virgin by the end of the year too.
Meanwhile though, the free tubular wi-fi will be available to all until the end of the year. Well, in the stations that have actually got it that is.
Virgin Media has switched on the free Wi-Fi at four of London’s tube stations ahead of London 2012: The Festival Of Grating Disappointment.
So, if you’re at King’s Cross, Warren Street, Oxford Circus or Green Park, you’ll be able to tweet ‘I’M ON THE TUBE! TWEETING! OMG!’ at everyone until the entire online world blocks you for being a hooting poo-hammock.
Of course, this will roll-out to more stations, 120 in total by the end of the year, with Victoria and Euston going live this weekend.
Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media said: “This is a truly historic moment as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time ever. Our plans for getting London Underground online were very ambitious from the start and, in less than just three months, we’ve launched a major new service, making London one of the world’s leading connected cities.”
Users will need to register to use the service which will be free to anyone for the summer. After that, it’ll be restricted to Virgin Media customers, while those not on Virgin will have a restricted service, which means you’ll only be able to get live travel news, Time Out, Spotify and MyMovies.net.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Our partnership with Virgin Media to make WiFi available on Tube platforms will be of tremendous benefit as building world class connectivity is critical to supporting new businesses and the jobs they create, especially in the high-tech and creative sectors.”
He then fell over a hat-stand and said something that sounded a bit racist.