I’m a great fan of the Tyne and Wear Metro*. They seem to have got most of the trains running to timetable (after 7 years or so) and when they don’t, they apologise for the inconvenience they are causing, loudly and profusely (but still don’t do things like put on replacement buses). Hey ho.
I actually think the system works pretty well now. This is compared to the early days when I would often start my morning with an email to Metro along the lines of: “Dear Tyne and Wear Metro, Why oh why do you fail me/leave me stranded/claim that dogs up trees affect the timetable …….etc”, normally including some barbed comment about they claim to be the ‘Tyne and Wear’ Metro, but that in reality they were the ‘TYNE and wear-if-we-can-be-bothered’ Metro.
So now I find it amusing when London friends arrive and exclaim “10 minutes to a train? Why are the people not up in arms?”
Believe me honey, we’ve tried that, and all we get are reduced services because Metro investigate usage and take trains away due to ‘lack of interest’.
Now all the Metro debacles have ended all I have to keep me entertained is Metro signage. Though to give them their due, I have scrutinised a range of Metro posters, mostly killing time when waiting the obligatory 10 minutes (or more if you are really unlucky…), and I have seen very little evidence of bad spelling.
However, when left to wait for over 10 minutes, I can get terribly picky…
This wasn’t Metro’s fault; I was awaiting the arrival of fellow blogger and fellow stickler for punctuality, Thrifty Gal.
I was there a Metro too early and discovered the following gems.
At University Metro Station**, there are signs broadcasting the penalty fare for paying for a ticket. At opposite sides of the entrance to the paid ticket area are these two:
Nice one Metro! No mixed messages there.
On a theme like Fare evasion, Metro really goes to town, resulting in this gem:
Hmn… location, location, location, Metro.
Haymarket Redevelopments – maybe the Metro staff are more obsessed than me
With all this ranting about the Metro and its signage I do sometimes worry about my sanity.
However, on Wednesday I witnessed the Haymarket Metro Station** manager and contractor surveying what was left to be done on the platform as part of the redevelopment.
- Were they bothered about the wires coming out of the ceiling? A little bit – but it wasn’t their fault, they were waiting for the ceiling people to finish.
- Were they concerned that the information boards kept displaying “SO?!H HYlt2n – 2 Mins” instead of “South Hylton – 2 mins”? nah….
- What about the fact that the volume of the announcements at Haymarket station is set at a level so loud that you can hear it in Winchester? Nope.
They were bothered about the fact that the curvature of the ‘e’ in Haymarket wasn’t quite aligned across the two panels.
Maybe I’m not alone after all?
*when I say ‘fan’ I mean they provide me with hours of entertainment at how bad they can be at customer service sometimes.
** Shake it! (For Steve….)