It’s not just the unbearable heat…
“Commuter chaos”, “Tube misery”, “Signal failure”, “Tube strike” – I’m sick of running headlines like this on LondonLovesBusiness.com.
We’ve time and again celebrated the Tube’s accomplishments – from London Underground’s 150-year birthday to safety campaigns and the amazing different versions of the Tube map.
But official stats reveal several disappointments that the Tube has caused Londoners. Take a look at a few here:
1. Unbearable heat
I had to get off a Bakerloo Line train this morning because I couldn’t breathe in the hot and heaving train. And I grew up in Delhi which gets *pretty* hot – the temperature there is 33 degrees today – so it’s not that I can’t handle high temperatures.
I’m not alone in my gripe about the Tube. One look at Twitter and you’ll find hundreds of Londoners complaining about suffocation, fainting and throwing up, thanks to the heat on the Tube today.
Take a look at some of the temperatures recorded yesterday:
1. Central Line at Liverpool Street – 34C
2. Central Line at Oxford Circus – 32C
3. Bakerloo Line at Baker Street – 31.7C
2. Overcrowding and Tube delays
In January this year, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by LondonLovesBusiness.com revealed that Londoners have been delayed almost 900 times since 2010 because of overcrowding on the Tube.
Figures showed that the Central Line saw the maximum number (158) of delays due to overcrowding since 2010. The Jubilee Line has seen 148 delays, and the Victoria Line has seen 129 delays in total since 2010.
Overcrowding has caused Tube delays on average 169.4 times a year in this period.
In an incident of overcrowding in April, hundreds of Londoners were stranded outside Oxford Circus Station after it had to be shut due to the large volume of passengers.
3. Lost customer hours
The number of lost customer hours on the Tube have increased from 1.68 million to 1.76 million.
Between July and October 2014 the number of stations closed stood at 40, compared to 56, a year ago.
4. Rise in sexual assaults on the Tube
In 2014/15, the number of sexual offences on the Tube increased by 34.7% compared to 2013/14.
Figures from Transport for London (TfL) showed London Underground and the DLR recorded 567 sexual offences in that period, up from 429 in 2013/14.
Another Freedom of Information request by us found that there have been 4,772 drunk and disorderly arrests on the Tube since 2003. Responding to the figures, transport union bosses said that the introduction of the Night Tube in September “will raise drunkenness, violence, and sexual assaults off the scale”.
5. Strike threats despite Tube drivers getting a handsome pay
In London, Tube strike threats come as often as the rain. Just yesterday, transport unions, the RMT and the TSSA, confirmed industrial action for next week.
The strike begins at 6.30pm on Wednesday, July 8 with services not returning to normal until July 9 at 6.30pm.
Members of the union will also participate in the planned 24-hour walkout by members of the drivers’ union Aslef, from 9.30pm on July 8.
The reason? A pay dispute.
According to TfL, the current Tube driver salary is almost £50,000. This is nearly £15,000 more than the average London salary. Drivers typically work a 36 hour week, and have 43 days of leave every year.
6. £100m stuck on unused Oyster cards
Currently, TfL is holding £100m of Oyster card money that has been left unclaimed for more than two years.
Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Lib-Dem London Assembly Group, has been campaigning for years to make it easy for Londoners to claim their money.
7. Finally, the astonishing rise in Tube prices
From January this year, transport fares in London increased by an average of 2.5%.
Take a look at these graphs below to fathom the unbelievable rise in Tube fares since 2000:
More graphs here:
6 graphs that show the astonishing rise in Tube fares since 2000
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