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Commuters guide to the Olympics: top tips for travel survival

Posted at 8:30 am, August 1, 2012 in Olympics & Paralympics, Transport
Rush hour on the overground

For the past few months we’ve been warned of just how oversubscribed public transport will be over the Olympic period. TfL and Boris have teamed up to create some kind of relentless scaremongering force but so far the journey to work has been a breeze. Or a walk in the park. Anyway, finally heeding TfL’s advice, we’ve rounded up some top tips for all commuting Londoners over the next few weeks.

Commuting dos:
1. Give up your seat for those with heavy camcorders, picnic boxes, sponge hands, vuvuzelas or large flags. Also give up your seat for those carrying Olympic medals – they’ve had a long day. And Wiggins may be taking a break from the bike for once.
2. Offer tour-guide commentary when on the bus. Just because Warren Street Walk-in-Clinic and Chalk Farm Morrisons aren’t in London’s guidebooks that doesn’t mean to say that visitors don’t want to know about them.
3. Carry emergency food supplies at all times. As vast queues are expected, delays and breakdowns will inevitably occur, just think how smug you’ll be when you’re tucking into your gourmet packed-lunch during that 2hr48min standstill on the platform.
4. Start a walk-to-work convoy with your neighbours. It’s a great way to make new friends, share the carrying of your laptop/umbrella/gym kit, and before you know it, there’ll be a street party penciled in the diary.

Commuter don’ts:
1. Take the emergency stairs at tube stations. Yes, you won’t have to queue for a lift, but woah, it’s not worth it. Fainting episodes are always awkward and embarrassing.
2. Apply Team GB face paint on any means of transport. With all that stop/starting and push/shoving, what started off as a Union Jack on your cheek now looks like a Swastika. That is most definitely not the Olympic spirit.
3. Take the central line. Absolutely anywhere.
4. Assume queuing will be fair. Us Brits enjoy a nice, civil line for the bus or train, but do the rest of the world? No way, they’re animals. Bus stops and platforms are now a level playing field. Take no prisoners, Londoners. Liz Darke

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