ISSUE: Turnham Green Tube

Safety not Convenience 

This article was written by a member of this site who is a regular tube user:-

The fact that some over-paid middle-class commuters from Turnham Green are whining that their journey is a bit longer every day than it should be is not worth bothering about.

That's probably a pretty fair reflection of what London Underground think. The realisation of this should bring us to the conclusion that a campaign based on arguments for the convenience of passengers will not succeed. London Underground now call us customers because some highly paid consultant has told them to do so, but that is certainly not the way we are viewed. We are passengers whose desire to get on and off trains delays them getting to their destination as quickly as possible.

The last time this issue really got going it received massive cross party support and was debated in the House of Commons. Thousands of signatures were collected and at the time it looked certain to be successful. It failed because the campaign was dealing with people who are essentially unaccountable for poor service.

The people who run the tube cannot be held accountable if you are late for work but they can certainly be called to account for lapses in safety standards. Turnham Green must be one of the most unsafe stations on the London Underground network. Part of the reason for this lack of safety is the unnecessary crowding on the platform caused by the station only being serviced by the District line.

The following areas are some potential danger points:

  • The platform at the side of the stairs is less than 5 ft wide and because passengers getting on the trains often congregate at the top of the stairs this creates a crush of people right next to the train. This is particularly serious when a west bound train comes in. I have witnessed several near misses at this point once involving a child in a buggy. The crush would be much less serious if both platforms were used.
  • Bottle-necks occur right up the platform because of the over use of advertising hoardings. This makes an already narrow platform even more dangerous. London Transport should be asked to remove some of these boards and make more space.
  • The speed of the Piccadilly line trains as they come through Turnham Green is surely too fast. They should be asked to slow as they come through the station. Often people unfamiliar with the bizarre situation at Turnham Green stray too close to the line to get a terrible shock when a train hurtles past.
  • When people hear a train coming as they enter the station they will run up the stairs headlong into passengers getting off. This occurs a few feet away from a train which is about to close its doors.

With all these risks it is surely a matter of time before we have a really serious incident at Turnham Green. To prevent this the lack of safety at the station should be highlighted at every opportunity. If you witness a near miss write to London Transport, write to the local newspaper, write to your MP, post messages on internet forums including the one on this site. The more incidents that are a matter of public record the stronger the case that can be made to London Transport.

London Underground's Address:
Customer Service Centre
London Underground Ltd
55 Broadway
London SW1H 0BD


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