With all the trouble going on at London Bridge station recently, we thought we’d look at the Dos and Don’ts of #commuting
If you’re in London, you might have been caught up in all the problems at London Bridge: hour-long delays, grumpy passengers squashed together like sardines and even some punters leaping the ticket barriers to get home.
While major delays and problems like that are (reasonably) rare, it was an opportune moment to look at commuting Dos and Don’ts.
To start, here are two suggestions for the companies that run our rail network and public transport services.
(I don’t understand why commuters are mean to the staff that work in ticket offices or on platforms – they’re not responsible for delays.)
Do make sure everything runs smoothly
Don’t let things not run smoothly
But for us passengers, the list of Dos and Don’ts is a bit longer.
Do wash and shower properly
Men are particularly to blame here. There are some among my kind who feel that showering is only needed when they spot mushrooms growing in their armpits.
Make sure you’re a fun guy (fungi, get it?) to be next to on the tube by being clean and well-presented.
Do let people off first
When your train pulls up, let the passengers on it get off first. Then you can climb aboard gracefully.
If you try to squeeze on as they’re getting down, you’ll just create a logjam and nobody will get anywhere.
Do give up your seat
Nobody likes standing on a long commute, but don’t let your bum’s comfort orient your moral compass – if you spot someone elderly, pregnant or who has trouble walking, do offer them your seat.
Your bottom won’t thank you, but you’ll get the respect of the carriage.
Don’t have your music too loud
When you’re on a rumbling train or a bouncing bus, it can be hard to hear the music in your headphones. But be considerate of other passengers and turn it down a notch so it doesn’t leak.
You’ll also be doing your ears a favour – you want to have good hearing when you’re older, right?
Do take something to amuse yourself
If you’ve got a long commute, then make sure you’ve got something to read or play. Otherwise you might turn into a dreaded shoulder surfer; a person that can’t amuse themselves, so they have to peer over other passenger’s shoulders to see what they’re reading.
Do stand on the right
Especially important in London, standing on the right-hand side of escalators allows people in a hurry to walk up on the left. If you stand in the wrong place you’ll create an obstruction and annoy other travellers.
Tourists are particularly bad for this, but even people from quieter parts of the UK get caught out by how frantic everything is in the capital.
Don’t get lost in your own world
Unfortunately the public transport network sees its own share of crime, so try to be aware of who’s around you and what’s going on.
If you zone out, you might find you start your commute with a wallet and end it without one.
For cyclists on their way to work
Do wear a helmet and hi-vis clothing
Nobody thinks it will happen to them, but falling off a bike, even while riding slowly, can be very dangerous. Protect your noggin and make sure you light up at night.
Don’t listen to music
Music is wonderful for taking your mind off a boring ride – but as cyclists you need to be aware of your surroundings and that includes sound. Beep beep!
Do treat pedestrians carefully
Bikes are to pedestrians what cars are to bikes – hunks of metal that can harm us in a collision. Please give way to walkers, treat zebra crossings with caution and don’t jump red lights.
Don’t ride on the inside of traffic
Riding in a vehicle’s blind spot is terribly dangerous and can end in tragedy. Please look after yourself and try not to ride on the inside of the traffic, especially at corners and junctions. Assume every driver is distracted and a danger.
And if you’re the kind of person who arrives at work complaining about the travails of travelling, remind yourself that it may actually be doing you some good. Research by the University of East Anglia, says that commuters who walk, cycle or use public transport feel better and happier than those who drive to work. #WeCare