THE BLOG
22/11/2013 11:46 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Automation of Services and People - Are You Kidding Me?

A spring is certainly present in a lot of Londoners steps right now. They're pleased to hear that they can party all night and take multiple methods of transport home rather than dashing for the last tube or trying to find where that night bus goes from.

However, there are so many issues with this idea. It actually really is rather terrifying. There's going to be four tubes an hour, all night, on four of the busiest tube lines by 2015, at weekends.

That's great for those people that finish their shifts behind the pub pumps at some silly time in the morning, good for the security guards, the night nurses and many other evening professions. But spare a moment for them also.

They're now suddenly going to be able to get on a tube, standing on a platform for up to 15 minutes with drunk people wobbling all over the place. Suddenly that tired worker just wanting to get home to sleep, is having to not only make sure that they don't end up on the tracks but also having to look out for the welfare of those people that have, perhaps, had a tad too much to drink.

And if you're thinking staff can help to stop disasters from happening, I ask you what staff? Have you not heard about the jobs that TfL intend to cut while closing their offices. You're not expecting to make people work more hours and more shifts in one of the grimmest jobs in transport are you? Wait, you are?

You want tube drivers to now have to work all night as well as all day? You want control room staff to have to stay alert all night? You want delays to be cut down and for tubes to leave promptly? All this and keeping the tubes in a clean state come the morning commute for the Saturday workers?

Because if so you're living in a dream world. Transport for London are cutting down on members of staff, they are expecting staff to do more, for longer and ultimately for less. You wont find the tubes being a safe, clean and secure environment for all those that travel on it.

And if you happen to be in a station at night enjoy all those drunk people asking you if you know how they can get home, because suddenly, all those staff with the knowledge that used to be employed to sit behind the little boxes and give advice (often from the top of their head) are suddenly no longer employed.

Apparently it's a good idea to automate all services in the underground. Not just to confuse the drunken Londoner, but also to make it just that little bit more difficult for people that rarely, if ever, have visited London before.

The majority of people in the queue for the windows at Victoria are generally there for a reason, because they don't know where they're going or what ticket is the best type to get for it. They also have to consider that unless they intend to spend a very large amount of money putting in new ticket machines and updating the ones that are already in existence than there simply aren't enough of them.

Oyster/ticket machines break down so often and are already very over-used with queues being rather long in rush-hour times. This is just going to make peoples commutes, holidays and daily lives even more stressful and dragged out by TfL than they already are.

It's almost as if TfL don't want commuters, Londoners and tourists alike to actually use their services, apart from on a night when they're too drunk to care about queue lengths or their personal safety that is.