Moving Londoners About



Another day, another poll, but there are some surprises here. Now that London is the 3rd most expensive place on our planet after the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, the things we hate most have appeared in yet another new survey (please tell me when you’re bored with these damned things!).

37.8 per cent of respondents hate the cost of everything, but 23.8 per cent were (rather surprisingly) more concerned about the lack of manners present in the city, which I find odd as generally people – on the whole – are ridiculously polite. Although the woman who rushed to catch a tube train (when there was another along in one minute) and managed to punch my Kindle out of my hands onto the railway line, and didn’t bother to apologise as it vanished beneath the train wheels, affected the odds a bit.

Next on the list came public transport, overcrowding (London’s centre is the most overcrowded in Europe), tourists and the perpetually miserable climate. I’d have put this last point first, as London in the sun makes everyone smile. Top of the list of likes came the incredible diversity of entertainment and dining.

For me some of these problems will be solved by spreading London’s load to its further-out regions, as in Tokyo, where different sections of the city are specifically associated with different things like fashion, fine dining, parks, entertainment and so on. London suburbs are still quiet and largely dead, so why not offer perks to companies to relocate?

It’s certainly the theory behind the city’s massive Crossrail project, which expects to see whole areas East and West regenerated by the case of travel between them. But London needs to find a way of cutting its public transport costs – it’s the most expensive city in the world to travel in (but not the worst; Istanbul wins that accolade for me). The poor weather keeps many cyclists off roads and the river has consistently been underused for public transport. Whether Crossrail alone has the desired effect, only time will tell.

5 comments on “Moving Londoners About”

  1. Vivienne says:

    This weekend was a bit of a mystery. Hot, really hot sun, London Open Weekend, and I went hither and thither – tube, bus, brisk walking, but encountered no queues or vast crowds. Perhaps everyone was stuck in traffic on the M23 to Brighton.

  2. Ness says:

    I find it hilarious the panic with which Londoners will rush to catch that train before the doors close. It’s usually less than a minute until the next one and not worth emotionally scarring an author who has mentioned the loss of the Kindle more than once – I’m sure there is a special circle of hell reserved for that woman more akin to the Northern line than the eponymous one. Let’s go with the story that she was a tourist, and match up with the results of the poll.

    You do pay for London’s transport system but at least it usually works. Melbourne has an awful transport system which is still expensive but trains run on average no more than every 10 minutes in peak hour and twice an hour otherwise. Not a lot of politeness here unfortunately, but I still don’t think I’d sacrifice a precious eReader to get on the infrequent trains but others definitely would. Queuing is a lost art here as is standing clear of the doors or letting people leave the train before barging your way on.

    You could always follow a historical path – when London gets too crowded, just transport some people to Australia. But with our government’s (compassion adverse) view on illegal immigrants, best not to send them by boats this time.

  3. Jo W says:

    Busy packing,to go to Portugal for some more sun before the greaseproof paper skies are upon us again. But, you know, I’m always rather happy to come home. However bad it gets, I can never get London out of my life. Hope you are enjoying Sardinia,Chris 🙂

  4. Roger says:

    One improvement is that they plan to install windows that open on those damned silly Borisbuses so they won’t roast the poor bloody passengers in the summer.

  5. Wayne Mook says:

    Hey wait until transport gets privatised properly and then the fun in London begins. By the way most jobs have a London weighting so wages are higher fro the same job compared to anywhere else in the country, maybe this is adding to the problem of London expense.

    Admin, keep the polls and surveys coming.

    Currently the water feature in pic Gardens in Manchester is not working, 2 years now, the word is it will be fixed in Spring. trouble getting water into Manchester, whatever next. Still I guess we could use more water here.


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