Posts Tagged ‘tube’
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.
The London Underground is famous for being well, a bit wonky. And in that particularly quaint British way, it shuts early, leaving you stranded in the middle of town and at the mercy of a minicab that costs £30 no matter where you want to go.
But all that is going to change – plans are afoot to make the tube a 24hr service at weekends, and TfL says it’s going to get rid of ticket offices – with the loss of 750 jobs. But it’s OK, because they’ll deploy some remaining staff in the stations! (So they can get stabbed more easily).
TfL reckon the move will be ‘better for customers’ as well as saving £40million a year. They’re talking about Wifi and Contactless payment points and more visible staff. The RMT don’t really see it that way, however – they prefer to call it ‘a lethal programme of cuts.’
News of a 24 hour tube is bound to go down well with passengers, and Boris is using his most eloquent Olympics-style rhetoric to hide the fact that people are losing their jobs and that TfL has had its budget reduced by £78million this year and next.
‘For 150 years, the Tube has been the beating heart of London,’ he said, in his best Churchill voice. ‘Its tunnels and tracks providing the arteries that have transported millions of people and helped to drive the development and economic growth of our great city.’
London Underground has announced a 90 day consultation, but first they’re all going to have to get past RMT leader Bob Crow– and he’s a big lad who is NOT happy.
‘The mayor must believe he is some sort of magician if he thinks he can slash a thousand jobs and still run safe services, when everyone knows that staffing has already been cut to the bone while passenger demand continues to rise. Throwing in the plan for night time operation at the weekends is just a smokescreen to try and camouflage the real issue, which is a savage cuts to jobs, access and safety.’
The unions say they will fight the plans. Meanwhile, passengers will probably be delighted to get home after the pub…
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?
Anal probes? Tsunamis of faeces? Nuclear fallouts and sex pests? This is what London is like according to one bugger who horsed around with a screen at a tube station this weekend.
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!
London, a great sprawling clogged-up lung of dreadfulness, is getting wi-fi down the Tubes. And Oxford Circus, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street and Leicester Square are just some of the first London Underground stations to offer it as Virgin Media revealed the 80 stations that will get the service over the next couple of months.
Wi-fi will be free ’til September, which marks the end of the Paralympic Games. After that, it’ll be offered as a PAYG service.
London Underground director of strategy and service development Gareth Powell said: ‘Our customers will soon be able to connect to the internet for live travel information while they are on the move through stations. Bringing a next generation wi-fi service to one of the world’s oldest underground transport networks is progressing as planned and the forthcoming service is testing well.”
“The first stations include some of our busiest and most well-known destinations and we’re on-track for a successful launch this summer – all delivered at no additional cost to fare payers or taxpayers.”
What an incredibly boring man. Either way, we can all look forward to trying to work out who is looking at filth on their phones during their commute. Our money’s on mucky MPs looking at dog porn.
Virgin Media executive director of broadband Jon James said: “In partnership with TfL, we’ve been working around-the-clock to install and test wi-fi on London Underground and are about to connect some iconic and world famous Tube stations with a wi-fi service London will be proud of.’
An internet tenner on it failing miserably at some point in the near future.
After something of a successful trial at Charing Cross station, TfL has confirmed that Wi-Fi will be available at 120 stations throughout the Tube network.
The service will only be available on platforms, leaving passengers unable to use the Wi-Fi service when travelling from station to station.
Hands up if you have any faith at all that this will come to fruition?
Of course, the TfL are saying that this will be available before the London 2012 Olympics, but this time last year, the same promise fell apart. Then, the UK’s four main mobile operators didn’t want anything to do with it.
Basically, you’d be a fool to hold your breath.
TfL has yet to announce which company will take responsibility for the service. Gareth Powell, TfL’s director of strategy and service development said: “We are in the final stages of the tender process. London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned. An announcement of the chosen service provider will be made in early spring, leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games.”
Yes, yes. How much will it cost?
You know how Boris Johnson wanted a mobile phone network installed on the London underground so everyone could tweet and text their way around the 2012 Olympic Games?
It’s not happening.
The TfL, 02, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and 3 have all agreed to shrug and give up on the project thanks to it all seeming like it was a bit of a ballache to sort out.
The Guardian reports that Huawei, a Chinese network equipment supplier, was prepared to donate £50m of equipment to wire up the network and the networks were going to pay for 3G networks to be installed. However, they’re not going to bother now.
Of course, other places – like Paris – already have mobile signals on their underground, leaving Britain looking Victorian, again.
Transport for London said: “The mayor and TfL made it clear that, given the financial pressures on TfL’s budgets, any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators with no cost to fare or taxpayers. The parties were not able to agree a viable proposal, and the project is therefore not being progressed at this time.”
So a massive waste of time for everyone who sat down to try and work out how this was going to get rolled out then.
A spokesperson for Johnson said: “We are grateful to the companies who explored the possibility of getting full mobile coverage on the tube, although disappointed the genuine problems encountered could not be overcome on this occasion. It remains a long-term goal.”
There’s been a lot of news and chat about the Underground in That London getting hooked up to a WiFi connection, which is obviously a good idea, right?
The worst thing about travelling by tube is the communication vacuum, leaving passengers unable to tell their boss that they could be late, or indeed, tweet “Having heart attack PLS tell wife I LUV U”.
However, surprisingly, the majority of Londoners polled don’t want WiFi on the Underground.
55 per cent of those surveyed weren’t in favour of getting WiFi on the tube, which is all set to go ahead in time for the 2012 Olympics. It appears that the main concerns focus on privacy and theft. The respondents didn’t like the idea of using a WiFi which could see their personal data floating around in an unsecured networks.
The biggest worry was that increased use of smartphones, laptops and the like, would only result in a rise in the frequency of theft Jesus, these Londoners are a paranoid bunch aren’t they?
A smaller percentage of people think that this WiFi programme would make transport magically more stressful in some way. However, it seems that the TFL don’t care and are dismissing these concerns because it could be a money spinner for them.
If you travel on the London Underground you’ll know that, most of the time, it’s more annoying than the presence of a wasp around your pint in a beer garden. But at least you don’t have to put up with watching people updating their frigging Facebook status while you’re cramped together in that hot, stuffy environment. That’s all going to change.
Following a trial at Charing Cross Station, London Underground are planning to set up a wi-fi network at 120 Tube stations, which could be operational as early as next year. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The roll out will finally allow Londoners to use mobile devices to pick up their e-mails and stay in touch with the world while they traverse our subterranean network.”
But there is dissent – Will Geddes, a man who specalises in terror or tech-based threats reckons the new network will be a bomber’s paradise. He told the BBC that it could allow terrorists to trigger underground explosions using mobile phone signals, as well as nick bank details and communicate with other terrorists.
But mostly, it’ll be used by people who will be typing ‘I’m writing this from on the Tube. Wow!’ on their fucking smartphones as you get a whiff of their armpit. Bastards.
The London Underground is so noisy it’s been known to cause ears to bleed and scab over. Obviously that noise isn’t the din of commuters talking to one another – the world would no doubt end if such a thing actually occurred – but human chatter will soon be adding to the squeal of brakes and rattle of arthritic carriages. Yes, the opportunity to recite shopping lists and roll your eyes at cockney wankers in suits is just around the corner.
Mobile Today is reporting that a contract to create a mobile network for the tube is just a fortnight away from being signed. The investment deal will be between Transport for London (TfL) and Three, O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile).
The only snag is that this deal, reported to cost £150 million, is only for the development and installation of a 2G and 3G voice and data network across the Underground – it doesn’t cover the management or maintenance of it. The lack of specifics about who stumps up for the ongoing costs threatens to delay the agreement; TfL is reported as been reluctant to fund it because its budget is already a sow’s ear.
Will tube commuters have to foot fare increases to pay for the privilege of continuing to ignoring one another?
What do you mean, this is the third time we’ve posted this video on Bitterwallet? Well, yes, yes it is. What’s your point? The London Underground maintenance workers are on strike once more and this video sums up how plenty of commuters feel, so no further excuses are required. Be warned though – it’s still chocked-full of swears and rude words on-screen:
The current tube strike, which started last night, is expected to affect services until tomorrow morning. Nearly two thirds of services are likely to be cancelled and plenty of stations will be closed altogether.
There’ll be extra bus services and water taxis in place for the day – there’s more information available from the TfL website.
Luckily, the nice, sympathetic people at Pizza Express have issued a voucher that will knock 50% off your food bill at one of their London restaurants for today only, as a reward for the Blitz mentality that you have displayed by actually making it into the capital.
You can directly download the voucher as a PDF here and either print it out or store it on your phone if you’re into the ‘modern ways’. Alternatively, the rest of the country can lunch on a Domino’s sub sandwich, acquired for the price of a newspaper.
Happy chomping everyone!