London Blog

Tube etiquette

If you’re new to London and haven’t yet experienced the joy of tube travel then you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve entered a cattle truck and are off to the slaughter house. Traveling on the London tube is all about keeping yourself to yourself. Don’t talk to anyone, don’t smile, don’t stare and try not to push – although undoubtedly you will be pushed! Just keep your head down, countdown the minutes until you can get off and pray that you don’t experience a ‘signalling problem’ and are stuck in a tunnel for 20 minutes. Take on board our following tips and you’ll be whizzing around under the streets of London without much hassle in no time:

  1. Getting down the escalators: Remember your left from your right! The left is for people who are desperately late or who are wanting to add to their daily exercise routine. Those not in such a hurry should stand on the right.
  2. Make room: When you’ve finally made it to your platform, try not to stand at the entrance. Walk along to make room for others. If you walk along to the end of the platform they’ll be more chance of getting a seat too.
  3. Let people off first: When the train arrives stand to one side and let passengers off first. It makes life a lot easier for them and for you.
  4. Be a good samaritan: If you’re lucky enough to find a seat do give it up for any elderly, pregnant or disabled passenger – the few extra minutes standing up won’t kill you. Also don’t take up a seat with your bags – put them on the floor or on your knee.
  5. Don’t play music too loud: So you may love a bit of Duran Duran but it’s unlikely everyone else does so put your headphones on and keep the volume down.
  6. Don’t be nosy: There’s something really irritating about trying to read the paper with a complete strange staring over your shoulder. Get your own paper and read what you want to read.
  7. Avoid the kebabs: Ideally avoid eating at all. Unless the tube breaks down you won’t be down there for long so you won’t die of starvation. Wait till you’re home and can eat with a knife and fork like your mother taught you to do.
  8. Put bulky bags on the floor: With a rucksack on your back or a travel bag on your shoulder there’s a much higher chance you’ll unknowingly wallop someone round the face or at the very least take up precious room. Just put it on the floor and keep your bags out of people’s way.
  9. Have your ticket / oyster card at the ready: When passing through the barriers have your ticket to hand. Rummaging around in your bag for your illusive ticket whilst standing at a barrier will cause congestion and make you very unpopular.
  10. Get the bus: Our final but best tip. The bus is cheaper, quieter and allows you to learn your way around the city and take in all the great sights. Ok it can be a little slower so just leave 10 minutes earlier.
March 21, 2012 rentonomy Moving to the Capital