Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Cumulative Effect of a Number of 'Minor Delays'

Public transport in London's suburbia is extensive. However, unless you are very lucky, it is highly likely that when traveling any distance you will need to change bus, tube or train at least once to reach your destination.

Sometimes the number of possible route combinations between A and B are so high that choosing how to make any particular journey can be like playing a game of Travel Roulette.

Last night I played.... and lost.

  1. Bus towards Hounslow bus garage. Driver: "There's an incident at the Bus Garage and I'm not allowed to go there. I'm only going as far as the Treaty Centre. I got off at the Treaty Centre, walked an extra half mile past the Bus Garage (noting absolutely nothing out of the ordinary) and joined the Piccadilly Line.
  2. When a London bound Piccadilly Line train arrived, all seemed fine. The train moved off and then crawled the whole way to Acton Town. The only announcement was made by the driver at Northfields when, after a three minute wait, he said 'I apologise for the delay. This is to allow the train behind us to catch up.' Total of 10 minutes added to timetable train running time.
  3. At Acton Town the wait for a Rayners Lane train had been so long that I decided to spin the wheel again and take a District Line to Ealing Broadway to catch the Greenford Flyer from there. Twenty minute wait in all.
  4. All was well at Ealing Broadway- my timings worked well and I changed onto the Greenford train within a couple of minutes. Then we stopped (presumably at a red signal) for seven or eight minutes before we even got to West Ealing. Other than a signalling failure/ blip I can think of no logical reason for this. No announcement.
  5. The interchange at Greenford back onto the Central Line was good- a train arrived within a minute.
  6. Ninety minutes door to door. My record on a similar variant to this route is 40 minutes,

It was the first time I had thrown the Greenford Line option into this particular route home. I was unlucky as I wouldn't usually need to consider it. On this occasion, maybe I should simply have caught the 120 Bus from Hounslow- the trouble is I have previously been delayed so much on that route that I only use it as a last resort.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

[Memo to Central User: Find something more positive to say]

No comments: