Friday, 31 May 2013

An alarming story

Just can't be bothered to think of a better pun for that title, sorry.  But I do have an excuse:
  1. Lat night's journey home involved a passenger pulling the alarm on a tube train several stops in front of mine.  This caused a five-minute delay, which in turn caused me to miss my connecting train.  That would have been a slow train, and I caught the next fast on instead, so only six minutes late overall (the fast train was two minutes late as well), but still annoying.  £15.
  2. This morning, the front left tyre of my car burst impressively on returning from drooping my daughter off at daycare.  By the time I'd sorted everything out, I'd missed several hours of work.  Now, admittedly I work from home Fridays, but I had a lot to do, so this was not ideal
  3. Just to really rub my nose in it, my laptop crashed, so I lost the first hour's worth of work too!
I'm just about ready to write today off...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fine by me

Despite a three-minute delay on the tube from Paddington to Waterloo (on top of the two-minute delay caused by having to use this station due to Edgware Road [Bakerloo Line] seven-plus month closure), I made the fast train back to Hersham last night.  It was on time - a pleasant change!  Interestingly, the reason given for the (ultimately inconsequential) delay on the tube was that pickpockets were operating at stations between Oxford Circus and Embankment.  That's another new one on me!  Presumably they were stealing timetables from the tube drivers...

This morning, the train was also on time, and the connecting tube even arrived a minute early at Paddington.  That's still two minutes late compared to alighting at Edgware Road, so it's a one-minute delay overall, but not bad.  Just £2.50 to add to the bill this morning.

In the news today, TfL looks close to taking over from the Metropolitan Police the responsibility for stopping motorists from entering cycle lanes and advances stop lines (bike boxes).  Drivers may soon face up to a £60 fine and three points on their licence for being naughty.

While three points on the licence seems more than a tad excessive to me, I think the fine is a fine idea (ha!): cyclists do need better protection on London's streets.  I hope TfL will publicly commit to using monies gained from these fines to further improving life for cyclists in London.

What I'd really like to see, however, is some token at policing things the other way too: far too often I see cyclists ignoring dedicated cycle lanes to cause road havoc, cycling across zebra crossings instead of dismounting and walking, ignoring various traffic signs and more.  Anything that prevents motorists from behaving like raging dickheads is great for cyclists safety, but let's not pretend there are many, many cyclists who need to learn they don't own the road.  This will make life still safer for cyclists, as well as for pedestrians and, yes, drivers.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Another day, another delay

Last night, due to Edgware Road (Bakerloo Line) closure, I had to travel from Paddington to Waterloo on the tube.  The ticket gates at my most convenient entrance were broken, so I lost five minutes trying to locate someone to explain the situation to and get myself in without having my Pay-as-You-Go Oyster card penalised for fare evasion.  This meant that, even though the tube was on time (well, two minutes late compared to what it would have been had I been able to board at Edgware Road as I used to), I missed the fast train from Waterloo to Hersham.

The train was then two minutes late, though the delay was accrued outside of Zones 1-6, so doesn't count.  Still, that made for a 26-minute delay overall (£65).

This morning, the train was a minute early to make up for it, which would have allowed me to catch an earlier tube, had it not been two minutes late.  Arrived at work one minute earlier than planned nonetheless, so that's £2.50 back to TfL for a grand total of £62.50 to Signal Failure.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bank Holiday's over!

After working from home Thursday and Friday, and then the bank holiday, there's not too much to report - though I will bring you up to speed with last Wednesday's journey home and this morning's into work.

Last Wednesday night, the tube was two minutes late, causing me to miss my connecting fast train to Hersham.  The train I took was on time, but of course that still made me 26 minutes later overall than I would have been had I been able to catch the fast train.

This morning, the train was a minute early arriving in Waterloo, though that didn't let me catch an earlier tube connection.  The tube was marvellously on time, but of course Edgware Road is now closed until December on the Bakerloo Line, so the journey took two minutes longer than it should have.

Total of 28 minutes and £70.

Thursday, 23 May 2013


...I am working from home today, since both my son and daughter are now ill and I want to be able to give my wife moral support, even if I can't dump the laptop and help full time.  It also means I'm on hand to provide cover and make things like trips to the GP or pharmacy far less stressful.

Although I won't, therefore, be giving you any personal travel updates today, I promise to check out TfL-related news regularly and keep you up to date with anything interesting.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Robin Thatcher or Margaret Hood?

Bit of a late update, this one, but nonetheless, my trip home yesterday unfolded as follows: a five-minute delay on the tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo cause me to miss my connecting train, and the train I did take suffered a further three-minute delay: 29 minutes late home in total.

This morning, the train didn't quite make up for its three-minute delay last night, but arrived in Waterloo two minutes early.  The tube was on time, so this saved me three minutes in total arriving at work.  I make that 26 minutes and £65 to add to the tally in total.

In other news, more posturing and strike threats from Bob Crow as politicians dare to suggest reviewing a pensions system that sees the taxpayer contribute six times as much as the TfL employee.  Said Crow:
"Try it and you'll see the biggest wave of industrial action on the London Underground in 30 years.  I have a very small penis."
OK, fine: that's paraphrasing, not quoting.  Seriously, though: I thought Thatcher had broken the trade unions?  Looks like she missed one.  Any politicians reading this care to pick up where she left off?  Seriously, I doubt anyone (except TfL employees) will give you any flack for it.  In fact, you wouldn't really be a new Thatcher, more a modern-day Robin Hood.
Where's Thatcher when you need her?
(Image credit:

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Breaking news: my station's closed for seven months!

Barely have I finished my update when the following email appears in my inbox.  I'm grudgingly impressed that TfL is using customer data analytics to figure out I'm a regular user of this station and could benefit from this update (assuming you all didn't get the same email).  I'm less impressed with the four days' notice, though of course it doesn't actually affect me too much - Paddington is just as easy for me to use as Edgware Road to get to work.  Of course, it adds an extra minute or so to every journey to and from work in waiting for one extra stop...

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause - no, wait: that phrase is not included...

Illegible drivel

I know, I know: more silence from Signal Failure.  I was working from home Friday and Monday, and it was busy, so no time to do any updates.

Such as they are: Thursday night's trip home was completely free of delay on both legs of the journey!  This morning, despite a red signal holding us up, the train arrived in Waterloo on time.  The tube, however, was three minutes late, so that's a compensatory £7.50.

Elsewhere in the news, publicity around TfL's £53m reserve of cash from unused Oyster cards has forced the company to write to a number of newspapers to detail to travellers how they can get their money back.  Of course, even being effectively forced into it is a pretty meaningless gesture, since I'm sure the vast majority of these cards have been lost or mistakenly thrown away or eaten or belong to foreign visitors, or whatever.  I could be proven wrong of course - we'll see!

Another bizarre story is that TfL is auctioning off street signs as they are 'upgraded' as part of a campaign called 'Legible London'.  I've never found the street signs particularly illegible, but maybe it's not a complete waste of money.  Still, if the auctions cover the cost of the replacements (a big if, I bet), who am I to complain?  And presumably if anything's left over it'll be used to keep ticket prices down, right?  I wonder how many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will creep in with the new signs.  Feel free to send me your pictures!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Late again

A minute's delay on the tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo last night caused me to just miss the fast train to Hersham I'd planned to take.  Then, the train I was able to take was two minutes late within Zones 1-6, making me 28 minutes late overall.

Coming into work this morning, the train was again two minutes late, again with the delay accrued within Zones 1-6.  This made me miss the intended connecting tube to Edgware Road, and the one I was able to catch was seven minutes late, owing to being held at a red signal.  That adds another 10 minutes delay this morning.

In total, then, since yesterday morning, that's 38 minutes' delay for £95.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Choo, choo!

Well, the crisis at work seems to be over for the time being, or at least dying down enough to let me add in the last few travel updates:

Monday night, my tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo departed two minutes late, caught up a minute to arrive just one minute late.  I was able to catch my intended connecting train to Hersham, and that was a minute late (though only outside of the TfL network, so doesn't count).

Yesterday morning, I came into work much earlier to help deal with the issues there.  I was rewarded with a train which arrived a whole minute early in Waterloo.  This didn't let me catch an earlier connecting tube, but the tube was running on time, so no delay.

Yesterday evening, a faulty elevator made me miss my tube, holding me back some six minutes - and the tube itself that I caught in the end was a minute late.  This made me miss my connecting train, though the train I was able to take was at least on time.  Still, that makes 26 minutes and £65 in total.

This morning, the train was again a minute early arriving into Waterloo.  Again, it did not mean I could catch an earlier tube but again that tube was on time, so no delay and no charge.

No news of note that I've been able to catch related to TfL.  Hopefully, normal service at Signal Failure has now resumed.

Monday, 13 May 2013

This is going to be quick

As Monday started poorly at work and is set to be HUGELY busy over the next 48 hours at least.

Two minutes early arriving into Waterloo from Hersham this morning.  This let me get an earlier connecting tube to Edgware Road, though it was delayed by a minute.  Still arrived two minutes earlier than I otherwise would have, however, so £5 goes back to TfL.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Just because

Just because it was a bank holiday this week.  And because I appreciate you all reading my drivel.  And because of the very late post the day before yesterday.  Just because you didn't get to have lobster and I did.

Just because of those things, I'll break my usual habit and update yesterday's travel home on a Friday:
  • Tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo was three minutes late, causing me to miss my connecting train
  • The next connecting train from Waterloo to Hersham was five minutes late - nine in total, had I been able to catch my intended train.
  • Overall, this adds nine minutes and £22.50 to TfL's bill

In the meantime, the terrorist Bob Crow is organising more tube strikes.  Enjoy.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Cramped conditions no longer!

A few more trips taken yesterday than normal...

(Image credit:
Had a team dinner last night, so travelled from Edgware Road to Oxford Circus to visit Burger and Lobster in Soho (I had grilled lobster with garlic butter, thanks for asking).  The tube was on time.  So was the tube taking me from Leicester Square to Waterloo for the train home later that evening.  And so was the train home from Waterloo.  Three in a row!

This morning, the train got to Waterloo two minutes early, despite leaving Hersham two minutes late.  The tube to Edgware Road was two minutes late, which rather spoiled that perfect run of competence, even if it did mean I ended up at my final destination a minute earlier than I would have had everything been running on time.  Still, fair's fair, and I owe TfL £2.50, which has now been removed from the organisation's running tab with me.

And there's more welcome news this morning (actually, yesterday, but I was in a rush then): London Overground will receive a 25% capacity boost as TfL invests in new train carriages from Bombardier Trains.  You'll have to wait until the end of next year to feel the benefits, though.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Busy, busy, busy!

Phew!  Another busy work day in another busy week.  In other words, sorry this post is coming so late in the day.

By way of apology, I will be brief.
  • Tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo last night: two minutes late.  Made me miss connecting train
  • Connecting train to Hersham: six minutes delay, owing to three (count them!) three separate 'passenger actions'.  Added to delay of this being a later train than it should have been, total of 10 minutes
  • Train from Hersham to Waterloo this morning: one minute late.  Did not affect the tube I took, so no charge
  • Tubes from Waterloo to Blackfriars (aha! I had a meeting there: you thought it was going to be Edgware Road again, didn't you?  Confess.  CONFESS!): on time arriving, despite departing a minute late
  • Tubes from Blackfriars to Edgware Road: three minutes late
Total to add since yesterday morning: 13 minutes and £32.50.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Finally: an end to the confusion over whether cyclists are subject to the rules of the road!

Hello again,

I trust you all had a pleasant bank holiday weekend?  Mine was spent blessedly free of delays by avoiding public transport and spending time with my family.  And it very nearly continued into the shortened week...

This morning, the train from Hersham to Waterloo was delayed by a minute.  No explanation was offered, but it seemed to be caused by the train moving very slowly as soon as we passed Surbiton (i.e. came within TfL's circle of influence).  This would have made me miss the connecting tube I had Journey Planned on, but since that was also delayed (by two minutes), this wasn't a problem.  So a two-minute delay overall then, for £5 this morning.

Elsewhere in the news, BikeRadar reports on a trial for traffic lights for cyclists.  They've been talked about for some time, and I'm interested to see how they'll work out, since in my experience bike riders tend to ignore pretty much all traffic lights, signals, pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes, and vast swathes of the highway code.  Will these be any different?  Could it really be as simple as that cyclists are too stupid to understand road signals that don't have a picture of a bike on them?  Only time will tell, I suppose, but despite my sarcasm, I do hope they'll be a success.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Small mercies

Just a short update today, as I'm working from home again - sitting out in my lovely garden office, alternating with on the patio furniture by the pond, resplendent with irises, populated by newts and visited by shimmering dragonflies.  Enjoying your day at the office?

Anyway, tube was fine coming home yesterday.  Actually, I don't know if it was, since I accidentally deleted my record of the journey.  But the train left Waterloo nine minutes late for no particular reason that I could make out, though they were of course very sorry for the inconvenience this delay caused. It was eight minutes late by the time we arrived at Hersham, so I suppose we at least gained that one minute back.  Be grateful for small mercies and all that...

'Just' eight minutes, then, and £20.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

I've got your delays right here!

No issues with my tube ride yesterday, but the train to Hersham was delayed nine minutes within Zones 1-6.  This was explained first as we sat on the platform in Waterloo waiting to leave as waiting for the signal, then outside Earlsfield as a slow moving train in front of us that would clear up after Surbiton.

This morning, both the train and the tube were on time.

So that's nine minutes and £22.50.

It's a busy day today (hence the late update), but I can't resist commenting on the news that TfL delays are massively down in recent years (the lowest since records began, I hear).  This has prompted ITV to ask 'where are the delays?'

Right here, ITV, right here...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A crippled sense of empathy

Admittedly, that title could apply to me, but in this case it does not.  We're all accustomed, no matter how much we hate to see it, with the selfish wankers we call our fellow commuters pretending not to see heavily pregnant ladies and giving up their seats for them.  I have to admit, though, that last night's journey home gave me something new...

Edgware Road Bakerloo Line tube station is one of those deep ones that's served by lifts.  Two, huge, clunky, and slooooow lifts.  Normally, I take the stairs because of this (at least going down), but yesterday I was feeling lazy.  I came to the lifts to find one of the lifts was just departing - the door was closed.  Around 15-20 people had already started queueing at the other one.  But the first lift had not yet departed!

The reason for this soon became plain: a man on crutches had gotten one of those crutches caught in the closing door.  He was unable to get them out, though he was frantically trying.  The lift was prevented from departing.  Despite this, the crowd of people waiting for the second lift merely stood by and watched him.  And let's remember that the second lift had not arrived yet, so helping him would not have made them miss their lift, even if we granted that this was a good enough reason not to help a fellow human being in trouble.

And despite the fact that the first, full, lift was prevented from departing by this, not one person in that lift bothered to help either.  Not one.  Nor did anyone inside the lift pus the alarm button, nor anyone waiting for the second lift call to a station guard for help.

Instead, I had to shoulder my way through them all, drop the several bags I was holding, stick my hands into the crack in the lift doors and use my not inconsiderable weight to wrench the door open enough for the man to get his crutch out.

Now, I'll grant you that the only possible way this man got his crutch stuck in the first place was by shoving it into a closing door to try and hold it open long enough for him to enter, which makes him a stupid prick, but I am astounded by the callousness of everyone else in that station at approximately ten past five yesterday afternoon.  You know who you are, and I fervently hope that you're one day stuck in a situation where no-one will help you either.  Twats.

Anyway, moving on: the tube was one minute late.  This caused me to miss my connecting train to Hersham, so I got next one.  It was four minutes late - three within TfL's network.  Overall, this made me 29 minutes late against my TfL Journey Planner advised time of arrival for £72.50.

This morning, the train from Hersham to Waterloo was one minute early.  It didn't let me get an earlier tube, and the tube I took was two minutes late.  Another £5.