A disappointing evening. We had been invited to a lovely ‘housewarming concert’ on the other side of the city (I took this photo of the full moon as we set off in cheerful mood). After waiting for ages at our local tube station, we were told that because of a signal failure we’d have to go a couple of stations north to pick up the train from there. We trudged down to the bus stop in the rain, and caught a bus in the rush hour traffic. When we got to the aforementioned tube station half an hour later, the trains had stopped running completely. Back we went to a bus stop along with about five hundred other people, with the aim of travelling somewhere we could intersect with an overground train line. But every time a bus came, there was a scrum to get on it, and we failed.
In a hopeful spirit we went back to the tube station where they told us that the trains were ‘running again’. So, back down to the platform, which was crowded with frustrated travellers. People around us were complaining that they’d already missed part of the event they were going to. No trains appeared. We looked at our watches and realised that by now, even if we made it to our destination (another hour’s journey), we would have missed the entire concert. Then an announcer said there were no trains after all, and that we should all continue our journey ‘at street level’. We gave up, went home on the bus in the rain, and felt agitated for the rest of the evening.
As it happened, the concert we missed was for an invited audience. But what if we had bought expensive tickets? We would have missed the event and wasted the money as well – as must have happened to many of our fellow travellers that evening. What chance is there of London Transport curing its problems by the time London hosts the Olympics in 2012?