diamond geezer

 Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As you may have heard, Network Rail held a dress rehearsal of their special Olympic arrangements at London Bridge station yesterday. As you may have heard, several exits were blocked off and diversions set up. As you may have heard, it was ghastly and people complained. As you may have heard.

When I got off the bus in the evening rush hour the rain was chucking down. It was ghastly. I should have been able to walk straight into the station but there were metal barriers in the way with some official looking people stood behind. They were stood in the dry and I was in the wet. It was ghastly. There was a sign next to them pointing towards something but all the text was really small and I didn't get close enough to be able to read it. It was traumatic. I had to walk down the forecourt and back for at least thirty seconds, getting wetter in the process. It was ghastly. A big sign asked those for platforms 1-6 to split off from those for platforms 8-16, except we hadn't walked past the platform indicators yet so I didn't know which platform number I needed. I was very damp. A member of staff was perfectly positioned so I asked him which way it was for Lewisham and he immediately told me what turned out to be the correct answer. I was shocked. Once inside the station the usual route through to platforms 1-6 was blocked and absolutely nobody was coming the other way. I shuddered at the indignity of it all. All of the shops in the main concourse were on the other side of the barriers, and they were shuttered and closed. They must have been losing thousands in trade. It must have been awful for them. The next sign required a split between platforms 1-4 and 5-6, but I still had no clue which lane I needed. Again a member of staff was perfectly positioned so I asked him which platform it was for Lewisham. He checked the timetable printout in his hand and quickly told me the time and platform of the next train. Unprompted he also gave me the details of the second train in case I missed the first. It was ghastly. Next came quite a long walk down a completely different platform. It turned out both of the split lanes went to the same place. It was pointless. I had to go up a staircase to the new footbridge, then along past lots of people and down to platform 4. It was lengthy. My train was just pulling out. I had missed it, solely because of the temporary diversion. It was ghastly. But I knew what to do. I went back up the stairs and across the footbridge and down to platform 1. The next train pulled in three minutes later. I got on it and went to Lewisham. I had suffered a minor delay and been made to walk slightly further than usual. To be honest, it hadn't been ghastly at all. As you might not have heard.

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