Would two-way system for pedestrians end commuter violence? Editor's Eye comment

Would a two-lane system help commuters in a hurry avoid being held up by dawdlers?

Would a two-lane system help commuters in a hurry avoid being held up by dawdlers?

First published in Lewisham News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

LAST week, while walking through the unadulterated carnage that is Victoria station during Valentine’s Day rush hour, I had the temerity to slow my walking pace as one of the Underground trains trundled into view.

Unfortunately for me, a young lady walking behind me had not done the same thing. As she rammed into my back, nearly knocking me onto the tracks and into an early grave, she spat some foul-mouthed abuse to me and carried on down the platform.

Sharing this shocking encounter with a friend of mine, she described how, at the very same station that day she had accidentally bumped into a stressed commuter and then been “revenge barged” seconds later.

It seems to me this great city’s transport hubs are in danger of turning into a hotbed of violence not dissimilar to something from a Quentin Tarantino movie, where you can’t walk the wrong way down some stairs without also walking away with a broken nose.

Imagine my joy then, when I turned on the TV to see comedian Ben Miller talking about an idea I have long advocated — a lane system for pedestrians.

The British public’s manners are in an irreversible downward spiral, but the companies which run our transport system are not interested in your comfort or safety, especially if it involves spending money.

My system would be to have two lanes — one on the right for rickety pensioners, buggy-wielding mums and tourists who appear to have stumbled into the station by accident, with no clue where they are going.

The left side, like on escalators, would be used by people in a rush.

Not only would this make me feel safer, it could even save a life.

If Boris Johnson can spend £60m on a cable car, he could certainly afford to invest a few quid in this.

What do you think about the two-lane system for pedestrians? What do you think about people's manners at train and Tube stations? Why does public transport often bring out the worst in people? Add your comments below - along with other suggestions for making commuting more bearable.

Comments (10)

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1:13pm Wed 20 Feb 13

goldenbroomboy says...

Victoria station is in the City of Westminster, a long way from Bromley.

Can we have an article about a local issue, please? Have you ever used Bromley South, or Orpington stations? How about the buses, was it easier to get to Sidcup in the days of Green Line Route 725?
Victoria station is in the City of Westminster, a long way from Bromley. Can we have an article about a local issue, please? Have you ever used Bromley South, or Orpington stations? How about the buses, was it easier to get to Sidcup in the days of Green Line Route 725? goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Simon Bull says...

Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere.

To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours.

Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train.
Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere. To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours. Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train. Simon Bull
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Wed 20 Feb 13

goldenbroomboy says...

I had noticed that the old etiquette of "Excuse Me" has disappeared, nowadays passengers simply stand up from their seated position & expect their neighbour to move.

FTR the much maligned smoking carriages were the only carriages where passengers would hold rush hour conversations. The non smoking carriages were eerily silent, with everybody's heads buried in newspapers or magazines. I can remember one grumpy middle aged man loudly berating his neighbour for answering a mobile phone on the train (all she did was say "Hello, I can't speak I'm on the train") as recently as early 2000.
I had noticed that the old etiquette of "Excuse Me" has disappeared, nowadays passengers simply stand up from their seated position & expect their neighbour to move. FTR the much maligned smoking carriages were the only carriages where passengers would hold rush hour conversations. The non smoking carriages were eerily silent, with everybody's heads buried in newspapers or magazines. I can remember one grumpy middle aged man loudly berating his neighbour for answering a mobile phone on the train (all she did was say "Hello, I can't speak I'm on the train") as recently as early 2000. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Wed 20 Feb 13

blueskies7 says...

As a child I was taught to walk on the right. This was common practise in those times and still is in some countries, it could remove much of the frustration - but not the poor manners or lack of self control that seems to rule today.
As a child I was taught to walk on the right. This was common practise in those times and still is in some countries, it could remove much of the frustration - but not the poor manners or lack of self control that seems to rule today. blueskies7
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Wed 20 Feb 13

bexleyman says...

Indeed it is called the common sense to walk on the right. Or obey the signs "exit here in an emergency only"

It is selfish attitudes, aware of only yourself when you suddenly grind to a halt or indeed walk the wrong way down stairs which are undoubtedly clearly labelled that trouble arises. You deserve it.
Indeed it is called the common sense to walk on the right. Or obey the signs "exit here in an emergency only" It is selfish attitudes, aware of only yourself when you suddenly grind to a halt or indeed walk the wrong way down stairs which are undoubtedly clearly labelled that trouble arises. You deserve it. bexleyman
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Wed 20 Feb 13

toomush2drink says...

Spending any amount of money on this is a waste of time.How many times do you hear the platform staff tell people to allow everyone off before boarding but still people just bundle on.
Spending any amount of money on this is a waste of time.How many times do you hear the platform staff tell people to allow everyone off before boarding but still people just bundle on. toomush2drink
  • Score: 0

10:25am Thu 21 Feb 13

rescaaffering oldey says...

...well said ed - tis a problem... but i usually keep a braced shoulder head dahn... and charge forward!! rofl!!
...well said ed - tis a problem... but i usually keep a braced shoulder head dahn... and charge forward!! rofl!! rescaaffering oldey
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 21 Feb 13

auntyval says...

Hi. I too find it difficult being a pedestrian ANYWHERE. I agreed with Ben Miller on Room 101 when he suggested a 'lane' system. People are so ignorant today; they barge at you, into you and rarely say 'sorry.' I was taught to be considerate to others and it upsets me when others are so rude. Anyone want to talk about litter louts? That's another of my pet hates!!!
Hi. I too find it difficult being a pedestrian ANYWHERE. I agreed with Ben Miller on Room 101 when he suggested a 'lane' system. People are so ignorant today; they barge at you, into you and rarely say 'sorry.' I was taught to be considerate to others and it upsets me when others are so rude. Anyone want to talk about litter louts? That's another of my pet hates!!! auntyval
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Marty1979 says...

Simon Bull wrote:
Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere.

To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours.

Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train.
And I would suggest one of the worst places is actually Petts Wood station in the evening - especially the station square side

If you are unlucky enough to be trying to catch a train when one from London has arrived you are likely to be trampled in the stampede, I have seen pensioners physically pushed aside by people in their rush to get home - and heard foul abuse screamed at anyone who dares get in the way
[quote][p][bold]Simon Bull[/bold] wrote: Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere. To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours. Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train.[/p][/quote]And I would suggest one of the worst places is actually Petts Wood station in the evening - especially the station square side If you are unlucky enough to be trying to catch a train when one from London has arrived you are likely to be trampled in the stampede, I have seen pensioners physically pushed aside by people in their rush to get home - and heard foul abuse screamed at anyone who dares get in the way Marty1979
  • Score: 0

7:22am Fri 1 Mar 13

Oldchap says...

Marty1979 wrote:
Simon Bull wrote:
Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere.

To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours.

Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train.
And I would suggest one of the worst places is actually Petts Wood station in the evening - especially the station square side

If you are unlucky enough to be trying to catch a train when one from London has arrived you are likely to be trampled in the stampede, I have seen pensioners physically pushed aside by people in their rush to get home - and heard foul abuse screamed at anyone who dares get in the way
And these are the people who's wives / husbands / partners park on the double yellow lines so traffic can't get past - many park on the bus stop & just sit there even if the bus is trying to pull up

Amazed the council don't get the traffic wardens round - they'd make a fortune
[quote][p][bold]Marty1979[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Simon Bull[/bold] wrote: Hi goldenbroomboy, I don't think it matters that these incidents happened at Victoria. The writer was making a general point about manners and the perils of commuting, and encounters like these can happen anywhere. To localise it for you, I've seen/heard plenty of examples of swearing, borderline violent behaviour (pushing, shoving etc) and generally unpleasant conduct at lovely little Petts Wood station during morning and evening rush hours. Far too many people seem to leave good manners and common courtesy at home when they travel by train.[/p][/quote]And I would suggest one of the worst places is actually Petts Wood station in the evening - especially the station square side If you are unlucky enough to be trying to catch a train when one from London has arrived you are likely to be trampled in the stampede, I have seen pensioners physically pushed aside by people in their rush to get home - and heard foul abuse screamed at anyone who dares get in the way[/p][/quote]And these are the people who's wives / husbands / partners park on the double yellow lines so traffic can't get past - many park on the bus stop & just sit there even if the bus is trying to pull up Amazed the council don't get the traffic wardens round - they'd make a fortune Oldchap
  • Score: 0

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