diamond geezer

 Saturday, July 07, 2012

When you arrive at the Jubilee line platforms at Stratford station, there are two questions you need answered.
1) Which platform is the next train going from?
2) Can I get there in time?
There are three platforms at this terminus: 13 and 14 to the left, and 15 to the right. Head the wrong way and the next train will leave without you. But each train is parked several seconds walk down the platform, so you might not reach train one in time, in which case you should have aimed for train two. In fact, as you approach, there's really only one question you need answered.
1) Left, or right?
The old signs were a bit small, but they did tell you. Next train Platform 13 ←, or next train Platform 15 →, whatever. Until recently an indicator at the near end of each platform told you how many minutes until departure (if 1 or more, walk, if less, run!), and which platform the next train was leaving from. It wasn't perfect, indeed it could have been much clearer, but it sort of worked.

Not any more. The TfL Signage Upgrade Unit have been along, and now we've got this.

Looks great doesn't it? Jam packed with lots of lovely information from top to bottom, it must, surely, be an improvement. But no. Because the new train indicator is far too complex, and is hard to read, and has been inexpertly located, and fails to answer the important question - left or right? Upgraded by cretins. Why aren't I surprised?

There's only one new board, and it's been angled to face the mainline station subway. For passengers arriving down the stairs, or from the adjacent DLR, it's surprisingly illegible without diverting across the concourse for a peek. Meanwhile the next train indicators on the platforms have been upgraded too, to the latest design, but shifted further down the platform. Better if you're standing by the train, but much further away if you haven't got there yet, and therefore no help at all in the early stages of deciding which way to go.

On the whopping new sign, the number of the next train's platform is hidden partway along the third line. All the text is tiny, because the indicator board is twelve lines deep. And when you have finally spotted "Plat 14", which way is that? A separate enamelled sign off to the right has the answer (13 14 ← 15 →). If you use the station regularly you'll have internalised this information. But infrequent travellers need to cross-check every time (Plat 14... aha... 14 ←) or else risk walking the wrong way.

The amount of information presented on the new board is entirely excessive. Passengers departing Stratford on the Jubilee line don't need to know the precise destination of the next eight trains. 99% don't give a damn whether the final destination's Stanmore, Willesden Green, Wembley Park or wherever, because they're not going that far. All the trains are going the same way, so catching the next service is all they need to do. Announcing details of the next two trains would be perfectly adequate, maybe three, but eight is utterly pointless overkill.

14 ←   1 min 
15 →   3 mins
This would do.
This, in very big text, would do just fine.
But instead we get information to excess
and all the useful stuff hidden within.

The sad thing is that Stratford is THE Olympic station, and the Jubilee is THE Olympic line. Years of careful coordinated planning have been undertaken to make Stratford the best connected, most accessible transport hub in the whole of East London. Some brilliant work has been done, linking umpteen platforms via additional subways. And then right at the end, a few weeks before the Games, some thoughtless team comes along and 'improves' the next train indicator system by making it worse. Cretins.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream