Services May Be Disrupted…

As I sit outside on the cold platform waiting for a tube during the first of two planned tube strikes, it hits me that the London Underground is a lot like me. While TfL (Transport for London’s) “normal” service is acceptable most of the time for me, because I live in Zone 3 and my “underground” is actually overground for all of my journey to and from work, when you put the tube under stress, it can cause problems. Try being on the Picadilly Line between Kings Cross and Green Park during rush hour, and you soon know what it is like to be packed in a tin can like a sardine. Tube strikes, like the one that started 15 hours ago and will last until Friday morning, and the second 48-hour strike which is planned for the middle of next week, cause disruption to its customers. Many have to take alternative forms of public transport, putting pressure on the already-busy buses and (proper) overground trains and extending commutes from double to quadruple their usual timescale, some have to work from home (although I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing!) and others, like me, can get their usual service but may have to wait a little longer for it.

So, in this analogy, I am the tube train, life is the busy visit to the West End at rush hour, and depression is the tube strike. The tube strike, while unpleasant for some, is unavoidable for workers who wish to make a stand against the threat of ticket office closures and job cuts. Depression, while unpleasant, is an unavoidable side-effect of certain life circumstances and emotional stress, plus, once you hit bottom there is only one way to go, and like Yazz once so blatantly put it back in the 90s, the only way is up.

In a few days, the strike will be forgotten, and normal service will be resumed. Those travelling on the Picadilly Line will squeeze onto an already-packed carriage, and those like me, in the suburbs of West London, will consider themselves lucky if the worst they have to do is stand up. The threat of future strikes will always be there, but it is up to the drivers and other tube workers, as well as those involved in the running and usage of the service, that harmony can be achieved at all costs, to avoid further disruption.

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