How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground

How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground

Transport for London caused fear, shock, panic and dismay at Holborn station back in November when they piloted a new crowd control system that flew in the face of traditional tube travel etiquette.

For three weeks, station staff actively encouraged travellers to stand on both the left and right sides of the escalator, breaking the long-established ‘stand on the right, walk on the left’ protocol, in the hope it would increase the number of people ascending.

Analysis from the trial has shown that the rule did indeed help speed up the flow of people, with bottlenecks no longer forming on the right side, and TfL hasn’t ruled out further experimentation.

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But could commuters really handle such a seismic change? On an underground network that clocks up some 24 million journeys every day, rules and decorum are essential to survival.

With this in mind, we reckon that if we are going to start tweaking the commute rule book, we may as well add a few more while we’re at it. Herein lies our definitive list to what not to do on a packed tube carriage.

1. Starting to get on the tube while passengers are still getting off

Because those two seconds are going to make all the difference…

How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground Perhaps commuters fear missing their Sliding Doors moment   Photo: Miramax/ Everett/ REX/ Shutterstock

2. Not moving down the aisle

What part of ‘move down inside the carriages please’ do you not understand?

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3. Pole-hogging

4. Using leaky headphones

You may be a 43-year-old accountant with a penchant for Shakira’s early oeuvre, the rest of your carriage almost definitely isn’t.

5. Not being prepared at the ticket barrier

You knew it was coming.

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6. ‘Manspreading’

Nobody needs that much room.

How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground A classic example of ‘manspreading’   Photo: www.mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com

7. Obstinately keeping your rucksack on

TfL have even gone to the trouble of making a video about this one.

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8. Not offering your seat to a pregnant woman

They invented those Baby on Board badges for a reason.

How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground The Duchess of Cambridge proudly wearing her badge   Photo: Eddie Mulholland/ REX Shutterstock

9. Offering your seat to a pregnant woman (if you’re not absolutely sure she’s pregnant)

They invented those Baby on Board badges for a reason.

10. Eating

Best avoided in general on a packed tube, but anything hot or pungent really is beyond the pale.

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11. Reading newspapers over a fellow passenger’s shoulder

Nobody likes a lurky peeker.

12. Reading texts or emails over a fellow passenger’s shoulder

Nobody likes a stranger who reads their personal text messages, either.

13. Ignoring a solo parent struggling with a buggy

There’s really no excuse.

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14. Making eye contact with fellow passengers

The only way we can get through this is to mutually agree to pretend everyone else doesn’t exist.

How to behave on the Tube: unbreakable rules of the London Underground You’ve been warned   Photo: Central Line sticker

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