diamond geezer

 Saturday, November 28, 2009

Re-installed by un-cretins

Mile End stationEarlier this month I reported on the installation of a new suspended ceiling at Mile End station and its unintended impact on the travelling public. The top line of the 'next train' indicator at one end of the westbound Central line platform had been obscured by freshly-decreasing roof level, making it suddenly impossible to read the time and destination of the next train. Freshly arrived on the platform and want to know where you're going? No can do. New ceiling, installed by cretins.

The diagram below shows the affected areas on Mile End's two island platforms. The six dark blue rectangles are the station's 'next train' indicators, and the red bits are parts of the station from which they've always been obscured. As for the pink bits, these are the areas most recently hidden by the ever-lowering ceiling, including the key passenger hotspot on the aforementioned Central line platform (at the foot of the stairs down from the ticket hall).

Mile End station

Well, good news. Some un-cretins have been along to Mile End station this week and they've moved the previously offending 'next train' indicator. It used to be between the stairs, facing west, and now it's been shifted to the front end of the platform, facing east. Net result, far (far) more people can see it. Like this.

Mile End station

Mile End stationThe two green chunks are the new areas of platform from which the relocated 'next train' indicator board is now visible. One of these is the key arrival space at the bottom of the stairs. Walk down from the ticket hall, step out onto the Central line platform and the destination of the next train is now perfectly visible to all and sundry. Win 1! And the second green area is the one I'm most pleased about - the previous total blind spot inbetween the stairs. Sight of the indicator to the east is still blocked by an annoyingly-positioned "Way Out" sign. But turn to look in the opposite direction and you can now tell whether the next train's heading to West Ruislip, Ealing Broadway or White City, and how long it's going to be until it arrives. Win 2! I can't tell you how much of an improvement this is, especially for folk exiting from a District line carriage and crossing the platform to change trains. OK, so you need decent eyesight, else the far-distant blur is as useless as the previous blank. But the entire westbound platform is now next-train-enabled. Win win.

I'm not going to claim that this repositioning has anything to do with the post I wrote on this blog. TfL can't simply knock up plans to shift an entire electrical system overnight (even if that's exactly what they appear to have managed). But, at long last, the cretins who insist on siting 'next train' indicators behind unnecessary obstructions have been given the day off. Long live the un-cretins. I hope that this isn't merely a fortunate one-off, and that a London-wide campaign of decretinisation is underway. If so, I have a shortlist of other navigational abominations in need of rectification. But, little steps, little steps. Three cheers for the un-cretins, and may they ultimately prevail.

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