Friday, 24 August 2007

Busy night at the O2 again!

I am beginning to hate the O2!

I have been taking the same journey home from work pretty much continuously for the last six or seven years (with a few exceptions when I've been seconded to other sites etc.). I know where to stand on the platform at Green Park to make sure I get on the right doors, to make sure I am in the right bit of the carriage, to make sure I get off at the right spot when I get to North Greenwich... exactly opposite the up escalator. This even works when the train terminates at North Greenwich now, ever since they changed the polarity of the escalators on platforms 1 & 2!

However, recently I have discovered that there is an optimum time NOT to arrive at North Greenwich. This used to be at the peak rush hour which lasts until about 6:30. No longer. Not since the Dome. 7pm used to be pretty safe... quite quiet even. Not anymore. Now on platform three at the bottom of the escalator there are two platform staff and a length of tensa barrier... you now have to walk all the way to the end of the platform and round the tensa barrier to get to the escalator. I see what they are trying to do. I applaud their logic. What happens is that there is always a scrum at the bottom of the escalator as people try and filter into two lines. Well, one and a half really as most people prefer not to walk up. This leads to massive congestion. When it is busy, directing people along and back gives enough space for them to naturally filter into single file. However... not always are there TWO platform guards, sometimes only one. He then has to try and prevent people from ducking under the barrier and saving the walk... which he can't do as there is probably a good 20ft of barrier! This makes even worse chaos than the congestion which would have ensued at the bottom of the escalator!

In the long term I think it would be more cost effective to save the wages of the platform staff (and the cost of the barriers, which must need replacing quite often given the treatment they get) to put a more permanent solid solution in place. If a balustrade were erected with solid panels there would be no more ducking under, and everyone would soon get used to it and the exit from the platform would be as slick as ever!

I still hate the O2 though. All these concert goers are as bad as tourists on Piccadilly. My problem with both? They dawdle. They stop suddenly (so you walk into them). They hover in inappropriate places so that you can't get past them... and increasingly at North Greenwich they are loud and chaotic and everywhere! At that time of night all I want to do is get home after a long day... and I can't be doing with anything that makes that harder!

Talking of anti-social behaviour. The neighbours with the drums are still drumming. Pretty lucky that the weather has been so miserable so that neither our house or theirs needs the windows open. I can still hear them though sitting in my living room or bedroom with the windows shut! I feel that very soon I am going to have to write to them and ask them to soundproof their practice room or similar. When I get home after a 14 hour day the last thing that I want to hear is thud thud thud thud.