please empty your brain below

And then, for my second question, I'd ask

"Why are your 'next train' indicators installed by cretins?"

Either incompetence or done deliberately to annoy people.

I think it's a (sad) reflection upon society as a whole (sorry for being so philosophical so early in the commenting), but I have seen this sort of attitude in other places too. There once was a time when the majority of the public could be told the complicated detail and they would be happy to work things out, but it seems that these days the public need simple, straightforward, dare I say it: "nanny state" type messages. "If there's no sign saying you can't do it - then that means it must be OK and allowed, surely?". Authority is gradually becoming more patronising, because we are gradually requiring to be more and more patronised. Better to tell people to avoid Bank and Monument altogether than tell them that it's actually quite complicated and sometimes it's OK and sometimes it's not.

Maybe it's because London is so cosmopolitan - how many of those English as a second language residents can't actually read English even if they can speak it well?

I think Jag's correct - but when 'The People' behave as they do (ie complacency, following the herd, can't be bothered, anything for an easy life), is it surprising they're treated like fools?

One point to note: the reason the up escalator from the northern line to Monument station is still open, is because otherwise northern line trains wouldn't be allowed to stop at Bank (H&S requirement).

They've also taken one of the escalators out of service now from the exit opposite where the W&C passage joins the central line / DLR routes. The lifts in the rush hour down to the northern line(from what I've experienced, might not always be the case) are for passengers entering the station only. So, the only routes out from that side of the complex is by the one remaining escalator as previously mentioned, or fighting your way all the way down the northern line platforms and up into Monument. All good fun.

"The first sentence on the poster is false. Interchange between Monument and Bank stations is possible below ground, but only in one direction."

You are right about the one-direction interchange, but you have contradicted yourself in your assertion that the statement is false. How do you travel between Monument and Bank stations Underground?

Interchange between Bank and Monument stations underground, via the 'UP' escalator is available, but you cannot transfer underground between Monument and Bank as the 'DOWN' escalator is closed off. So the phrase is actually correct - between Monument and Bank there is only street level interchange.

If someone was described as travelling between London and Norwich you would reasonably expect them to have started their journey in the capital, not in Norwich. The same goes for this phrase.

And it's quicker to walk at street level from Bank to Cannon Street rather than Monument

There are also stickers in trains referring to "major escalator works" at Bank. Shouldn't that be "work"? (Or maybe they're drawing attention to the fact that one important moving staircase *is* in servioe?)

I thought you tubies might be interested in this article

It is long and mostly about signage but in between there is a lot about the chaos of modernising the NY subway.

Honestly, it's an improvement over the past. In days gone by, they'd have shut the station with a "Fuck off, we're working here, find another way to work." and be done with it. *Maybe* using nicer language. Maybe.

Reply to BW: It's not surprising at all. It is desperately sad though, and I do think it's very linked to general lack of respect and increasingly litigious behaviour in society though. The theory goes like this: there was a time when freedom resulted in conventions and unwritten rules that helped preserve some sanity, respect and general civility: e.g. conventions to walk on the left, hold the door open to someone who is immediately behind you, saying thanks etc. as these conventions and unwritten rules become disregarded (I think because we have become more "I'm alright Jack" since the Thatcher years?) people need to be *reminded* of things that they *shouldn't do*, even if there is no law against it. For example, I have seen official signs in some car parks saying "Please park properly, do not block others", or in places where families go: "Please control your children" or on public transport "no personal stereos in this carriage". Basically, in a society where anything goes, "the people" are increasingly needing to be told what they should and should not do, because in the absence of that; anything goes. Likewise, as the people become more litigious and intolerant of change (and the sometimes even the forces of nature - e.g. "they didn't say there was going to be a hurricane on the weather last night" - look how many official "weather warnings" we get these days), authorities become more nanny-state-like with the rules, situations and the messages used to convey them: "Please mind the gap" will become "WATCH YOUR STEP", The lighted red man symbol on pedestrian crossings will become "DON'T WALK", and anything too complex to convey will be overlooked in favour of something much more simple, to the point, unambiguous, and offer little come-back/litigation in the event of a complaint. Another example: "Danger of Death" stickers have started appearing on previously anonymous fences and gates in my neighbourhood. There is an urban myth that in a certain country with a highly litigous society there is a warning sticker on toasters that says "Do not insert tongue". Sadly, I think we might get close to that.

Ergo, life's a lot simpler and cleaner for TfL (and "the public") if the public are told to avoid interchanging at Bank/Monument altogether.

I can back you up on this, DG.

Despite the signs on the Waterloo & City line telling me otherwise, I changed at Bank yesterday onto the Northern line, via. the Central line passageway. The first set of escalators seemed to be working fine, though I was then directed away from the second escalator leading down to the Northern line platforms into a narrow and overcrowded stairway. Therefore it is possible to change between the W&C and Northern lines at Bank, contrary to what TfL might be saying, though it is slightly more difficult. In addition, it is of course possible to change from the W&C line to the Central line, where one doesn't have to use escalators at all.

It's not just TfL either. Herts Highways often close off roads and put up misleading signs. Near where I live, they've closed a road and put up two signs: one says the road will be closed in eight weeks, the other says twelve. Maybe these signs are managed by the same cretins who install next train indicators. It certainly seems that way to me.

*agrees with Jag, but doesn't blame Thatcher*

Vote BW Party! (am I allowed to court votes here?)

I guess I'm often prone to falling for an idea that is often suggested by friends and colleagues: that the people who grew up in what is known as the "Thatcher era" (i.e. the "Thatcher generation") are responsible for the breakdown in today's British society ... for example; it is often alleged (around the watercooler at work) that the children of the now-grown-up "Thatcher Generation" are those very kids reviled as "feral" by the tabloid-following public etc.

I'll say it again. London is very cosmopolitan. I suspect there are more people living in London born in places where people drive on the other side of the road - hence they will walk into a Brit for cultural reasons. People will need to be told what to do because they do not share the 'unspoken' cultural norms of the nation. It is simpler to say don't change at X because of works than to indicate the service is not completely blocked.
I happen to think there is not a 'I'm alright Jack' attitude cf Thatcher - it is something else altogether.

I agree with you, and also disagree with you Bina: I agree that there are increasing cultural differences, but I disagree that cultural differences alone are the reason for increasing levels of "patronising" occurring in the messages if the authorities towards the general public. Society has become more disrespectful and more litigious. And it's not because London has become more cosmopolitan; it's because people have become more selfish and and self-centred ....

Jag - Not half as patronising as literature intended for women from the 1940's onwards (if not for decades earlier). At least 'instructions' such as the 'no change at X' have a purpose.

dg: among all the lamentable TfL confusion and bluster and your excoriation of it, a (wish-fulfilment?) wrinkle crept into the more-or-less misleading messages listing.

"Automated announcement on a Central line train approaching Monument".

All together now, yes you meant Bank.

dg writes: Oops, yes, I meant Bank.

But oh, were it true!

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