UPDATE: Replaced this image with my own, because the official image doesn’t use the right font.
Transport for London are consulting on extending the Bakerloo line as far as Lewisham, and possibly further. The consultation ends on Sunday, so if you think it’s a good idea (I do), please go and have your say before Sunday. The Labour party have also jumped on the bandwagon, and coined the catchy Bakerlooisham name, but think that starting work in 2023, and finishing it in the 2030’s is possibly a little tardy. You think?! I totally agree, but I wonder how many of these politically inspired petitions are really about hoovering up email addresses of potential voters whose viewpoints might align with Labour. I’ve signed a few in the past and seem to have been inadvertently subscribed to all manner of mailing lists… Anyhow, the TfL consultation page won’t have this problem. Links below:
Finally, here’s a wonderful map, reimagining the tube map, so that South London had as many stops as North London currently does, and vice versa:
So far, I have heard Boris say “Hi folks” whilst waiting for trains at Blackheath. I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” as I interchange at London Bridge. I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” at Charing Cross whilst making my way to the underground. I’ve heard “Hi folks” as I scurried through at least three tube stations.
And I could just about get by with the occasional grumble on Twitter to maintain my sanity. But today, after hearing it three times at three different stations, I took a bus to Sainsbury’s. The bus was full. It was too hot. Everybody was standing. And then, along came the aristocratic old Etonian who read Classics at Oxford calling me his “folk”.
I’m not his folk, and he isn’t mine. I never will be. It was only on the bus when I realised what a disaster the “Hi folks” recorded messages are. They make you feel as though you are living in a police state. I feel like I’m being told how to think, without any control over when I hear it. It’s the same message everywhere, and it doesn’t change. It’s relentless. And it’s starting to terrify me.
I realise that we live in a democracy, and that we’re lucky to do so. But playing the announcements everywhere with such ease demonstrates that most of the equipment is in place to remove our democracy at any time. All the machinery necessary to tell you how to feel, and what to think is sitting there, and is ready to go. And that scares the life out of me.
And it’s weird, because that Tannoy system has probably been set up for years, but I’d never noticed it until I heard it on the bus for the fourth time today.
Charing Cross photo by Flickr user Mike_fleming. Booming Boris Johnson from Wikipedia.
This is really cool. You can now find out where the bus you’re waiting for has got to. The “Now & Next” displays for buses are now available online. So even if your bus stop doesn’t have a display, you can use your phone to find out where your errant 202 has got to.
TfL’s Countdown page: http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/
It’s only in testing at the moment, but I used it today, and it makes such a difference. Lying on the heath in the sun, check your phone to see when the bus is due, then saunter over to the bus stop two minutes beforehand, and sure enough the bus appears by magic!
You can bookmark your favourite stops – each one has a unique URL, so for example the bus stop next to Shepherds Foods is:
Or the accesible text only version would be:
There’s also a version formatted for mobiles (thanks for the tip Methers)
So you can save separate bookmarks on your phone for your frequently used bus stops.
This is such a great system, and it’s been a long time coming. It opens up so many more possibilites for fun things to do with data & travel. Which are the best/worst performing routes? Which timetables need tweaking for accuracy? iPhone apps that beep when it’s time to run for your bus, and enhanced apps (like the brilliant London Travel Deluxe that no commuter should be without) that can now show real time updates.
Hooray for TfL, and I don’t say that very often…
(Spotted on the excellent Diamond Geezer blog).
Stunning photo of Blackheath Bus Stop in the sun by twitter user Neil Clasper