Underground fares to rise, while customers are treated like dogs

16 October 2009

So it's good news for London commuters as Boris Johnson addresses the appalling service offered by one of the world's most expensive transport systems, by charging passengers even more. Bus fares will rise by nearly 13 per cent and Tube fares will increase by almost 4 per cent. What will the increase in revenues pay for? Well, with a little luck, it'll mean more people can be treated as if they've just punched a child in the face.

Yesterday at Holborn, a train unexpectedly terminated at the station. In the rush as everyone alighted the train, a passenger trapped his arm in a closing door. When released, he explained what had happened to a member of underground staff called Ian, who was less than impressed with the passenger's conduct. Jonathan Macdonald witnessed the exchange, and explains on his blog what happened next:

He was furious that the guy had mentioned it at all, especially as the guy was standing close to the track. After a while, Ian started shouting at the guy to "stand back there is a fucking train approaching“.

The elderly guy quietly questioned why Ian had to swear, as did several other passengers. Ian literally screamed in this guys face (and I quote): "because there is a fucking train approaching and I need to make sure nobody is over the fucking yellow line".

The elderly guy stood his ground – admittedly the wrong side of the yellow line (which was hard to see as there were hundreds of stranded people on the platform). Ian then told the guy that he wasn’t allowed to get on the next train and had to "come upstairs to speak to the police".

When the member of staff made the threat of police involvement, Jonathan started filming:

Throughout both Jonathan's recollection of the event and the video evidence, it seems the passenger is been entirely calm about having his arm trapped in a door and subsequently been threatened. All of which makes Ian's comment at exactly 50 seconds into the video - "sling him under a train" - headswimmingly unbelievable.

You will see the look of utter disdain from the female guard who I didn’t catch the name of.

She asked me to stop filming, so I did. But as I left, I said one thing:

"He will lose his job for this."

She laughed and walked away – in the assumption that we have no power.

That's right, because the internet is rubbish at spreading news of jumped-up little shits with a rumble of power in their belly, isn't it? Even if the ponytailed jobsworth was in the right, and the passenger shouldn't have been boarding the train, it's difficult to see how his behaviour is at all justifiable - there was absolutely no reason why the situation couldn't have been dealt with in a calm but firm manner. Not that'll it'll stop the union threatening to strike if TfL discipline him, we shouldn't wonder. Not to worry, because it's all part of the service that we'll be paying that little bit extra for in the future.

[Jonathan MacDonald]

TOPICS:   UK News   Travel


  • Gunn
    Can I just check was the guy coming off the train and got his arm stuck? Or was it he was just standing so close to the edge that he got stuck? Noone really adheres to that yellow line rule anyway. Guess the guy doesn't like old people. The power of a high visibility jacket!
  • Jeff
    The power of Bob Crowe and his cronies will ensure that arseholes like this are never fired. Regardless of conduct. Drivers on dope, thieving staff, rudeness all are protected. They taint the rest of them.
  • Brian's U.
    Public Transport is a joke in London. Bus, tube and train fares going up whilst the service is increasingly getting worse. Then there are the unions and bob crowe. what a plonker.
  • Name (.
    I hope the prick loses his job. It's about time these assholes on TfL remember that they should be appreciative to even have a job, and put some fucking effort in to old fashioned things like customer service. Why is it that almost every other city in a developed country can run a public transport system better than we can, even with the billions we spend on it and the astronomical fares? Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, Vienna, Budapest, Chicago, even Paris and New York all shit on our crappy rail and bus networks.
  • Stephen
    Transport for London & London Underground do not give a monkey's @rse about the needs of elderly or disabled people - from underground workers through to top management.
  • Jassen
    Just so you guys know, Boris has seen the video and is taking it up with TfL!
  • Paul S.
    Great news! And it's all thanks to Bitterwallet an- oh. It probably isn't, to be fair. Bloody Twitter. Gunn - I assume from the blog that when the train terminated early at Holborn, they cleared the whole train and tried closing the doors before everyone was off, which is when the passenger got trapped.
  • The B.
    As the others have already said, Crowes cronies never lose their jobs, they could be drunk, smoking crack whilst doing a hooker over the steering wheel, crashing the train, killing hundreds and Crowe would demand a strike because one of his members was being unfairly treated and the drink, crack and hookers were merely there to help him deal with the stress of the utterly unreasonable tfl management.
  • Paul S.
    As Jassen pointed out...: http://twitter.com/MayorOfLOndon http://twitter.com/MayorOfLondon/status/4912837445
  • james
    soon instead of buying a ticket well beable to buy the train
  • Mike U.
    Go Go People Power!!!
  • DavtT
    The video shows nothing or am I missing something.
  • Rob
    On a general note, I hope no-one's filming me with their camera-phone if I have to deal with an awkward customer in the office and lose my rag - subsequently launching an "online witch-hunt", sorry, internet campaign to get me sacked ...
  • Pravin
    Eventhough Boris is aware and is asking the TFL staff to look at the conduct of thier own staff, you can send an email to the Mayor and if enough of us bombard him with our thoughts of the incident he may take it seriously to start an independant investigation. The email address is [email protected]
  • charitynjw
    Personally, I fail to see what all the fuss is about! I find that the service provided is quite sufficient. Regards, Fido
  • compactdistance
    Look at all you poor little Londoners moaning and whinging about your fairly priced multi-modal highly serviced public transport system. You're so hard done by aren't you, only having billions spent on CrossRail etc
  • Duds
    Yeah I'm in London and I find the tube superb. I've been on trains that have got stuck in tunnels because some unaware twat wants to stand where a train could hit him so I have very little sympathy for that. Busses come at worst every 10 minutes anywhere I've been in London and cost half what I've had to pay in Bristol (hardly a small place) for a bus that turns up roughly never. I feel the need to use my car for anything inside the M25 approximately never and my commute costs me £2.20 a day. I struggle to have a problem.
  • Fiyero
    It is far too easy to show 1 minute of video after the main event. I am sure that the staff member wouldn't have been that insistent on the gentleman not boarding the train if he had done nothing to provoke the situation.
  • james d.
    Fiyero, I disagree, no-one should behave that way towards their customers especially in front of other customers regardless of their conduct. However if he was significantly provoked then maybe he just deserves suspension or something but this is certainly grounds for an investigation.
    I'm gonna ASK THE HOFF about this.
  • DJSpymo
    Boris (Mayor of London) needs to have this thug sacked at once and to hell with what Bob Crow and the RMT think. Gone are the days when London Underground staff were kind and helpful to passengers (who pay their wages) and had pride in their job. Is this the welcome people coming for 2012 will get when using the Tube?!
  • Robert
    It's now on the top 5 videos on BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8311106.stm
  • Jamey
    "Ian" has a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NightInc Religion - Jedi... Lol.
  • Someone's m.
    "Oooh - I'm not gonna let the train go till you get off" "Err.... I'm gonna let the train go cos you're not worth it" Translation : I'm so full of shit that my eyelids sometimes stick together. I don't have the authority to even use my wanky-tanky, let alone stop a fucking underground train. What an absolute quntoid!
  • Shooter M.
    A bit rich for someone with that haircut to accuse someone else of being a "little girl".
  • MrRobin
    This is the front page story on the Evening Standard!
  • Richard P.
    I want to thump him.
  • moola
    The BBC is saying he has been suspended.
  • Mark (.
    Apparently they were discussing whether to buy "Ask the Hoff", and it got a bit heated
  • Pete
    It's great how in the face of clearly BAD customer contact we squirm and turn from indifference through to hatred and then start flaming one another for what is a deeply unprofessional, embarassing, deplorable display of attitude (not service) towards a customer who regardless of age has essentially paid to be on there. The blank looks of "don't involve me guv" of the people around is a great advert for high density living and commuting. Rats, cages?
  • Dann
    So I take it know one who's commented here has ever lost their temper at work? Please........... It happens in every job, get over yourselves. It's no excuse and that customer should come forward and demand an apology from LU. Who knows whats going on in this persons life. For all you lot know that blokes mum may have just died or he maybe about to lose his house. Also I'd like to point out that LU often sack staff for poor behavior to customers, I've seen it happen more times then I can count. The RMT will only fight for unfair dismissal. LU WORKER
  • kev
    the member of staff involved (ian morbin) has now resigned a case of jumping before he was pushed imo good luck trying to get another job m8 : )
  • Jumped-up B.
    [...] Video footage shot on another passenger’s mobile phone showed Ian Morbin stomping about like a knobhead, calling a passenger “a jumped up little git” and accusing him of acting like a “little girl”. Morbin also appeared to suggest that the old man (who might have fought in a war or something) should be “slung” under a train. [...]
  • andrew r.
    that is pretty clear footage What was it shot on?
  • Tube B.
    [...] An admirable effort, and far more entertaining than threatening to sling the passengers under the trains. [...]
  • Tim
    @Dean - "So I take it know one who’s commented here has ever lost their temper at work? Please……….. It happens in every job, get over yourselves. " No. It's called being professional and doing your job. You should never lose your temper no matter how much you hate it and hate the customers / colleagues / bosses or how crap your home life is. If you are liable to lose it in a customer service job, you're in the wrong job.
  • Simon
    Tim and all others, Why is it that you never see any Videos of customers swearing and being generally abusive to Underground Staff ? It's an unusual day at work if I don't get random people swearing at me about stuff I have no control. You wouldn't like it if I came into your workplace and starting swearing at you so why should you do to the Underground Staff
  • new m.
    I've been surfing online more than three hours as of late, but I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It's lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet will probably be much more useful than ever before.

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