1. It’s all kicking off in Haringey

    Posted December 28, 2017 in London, transport  |  No Comments so far

    In Haringey, the council is changing the way it charges for car parking. Dialogue between the council and the scheme’s opponents is progressing via a medium that is unconventional but actually rather apt: the parking meters themselves.

    Is this all the work of one person? It looks like the same sort of pen, and the handwriting is similar. The wording in that second matches that of the original yellow stickers. Perhaps this is just a one-man crusade. A lone wolf. Or perhaps these interventions are radicalising a whole new generation of militants. Only time will tell.

    See full post on James Ward’s blog.

  2. Finally, someone who’s more obsessed than me with the politics of public transport

    Posted August 2, 2012 in transport  |  No Comments so far

    Last year I wrote a piece about the strategies commuters use to get seats on trains. I ended up appearing on a few radio programmes that portrayed me as an expert on the social rules of public transport, or at least someone who was unreasonably obsessed with that topic.

    So I’m heartened to hear about Esther Kim of Yale University, who has “chalked up thousands of miles of bus travel to examine the unspoken rules and behaviors of commuters” while working on a paper called Nonsocial Transient Behavior: Social Disengagement on the Greyhound Bus.

    “I became what’s known as an experienced traveler and I jotted down many of the different methods people use to avoid sitting next to someone else,” said Kim. “We engage in all sorts of behavior to avoid others, pretending to be busy, checking phones, rummaging through bags, looking past people or falling asleep. Sometimes we even don a ‘don’t bother me face’ or what’s known as the ‘hate stare’.”

    And I thought I was brave to spend 90 minutes a day on an Overground train from Highbury to Kensington. Esther’s exhaustive research has truly put me in the shade.

    Read more at EurekAlert or try accessing the actual article, which is behind an academic firewall I can’t penetrate

  3. Overheard during the tube strike

    Posted October 5, 2010 in ephemera  |  1 Comment so far

    Yesterday was one of the semi-regular days of chaos on London’s travel system. A strike by the RMT and the TSSA unions left many stations closed and almost all lines operating a skeleton service. The blank October sky glowered down on us as, in our millions, we battled our way across a suddenly inhospitable city.

    On my packed Overground train there was a moment of levity when, in a tunnel between two stations, the driver fired up the intercom to make an announcement.

    “As you know there is industrial action on the underground today so we’re a lot busier than usual. To make it easier on everyone, can you please let passengers get off the train before boarding.”

    And this is when we were nowhere near a station, in the middle of a tunnel. For a beat there was silence, then a wave of gentle laughter passed through the carriage.

    The humourous mood soon lifted. We arrived at Willesden Junction and a near-riot ensued when nearly a thousand people tried to force their way on to the train. I guess they didn’t hear the announcement.