I’m pretty sure that if Londoners were ever to explode into violent anarchy it would be because the transport infrastructure had come to a halt. When everything’s running smoothly tempers already flare at the traffic jams and crowded tubes. But it just takes one or two more things to go wrong to bring the city close to utter gridlock.
Last night I made an unnecessarily epic journey across London where the anarchy-inducing problems were: the Underground’s Central Line being out of action following an accident last Saturday; all the buses on that east-west route consequently overflowing with commuters, necessitating a 30 minute walk through the snow; reaching Moorgate to be thankful we weren’t heading towards Welwyn Garden City because the trains were screwed thanks to heavy snow; instead getting on a crowded train north that began leaking heavily, water pouring down the walls onto the seats; discovering a queue of more than 90 people (I counted) waiting for our bus; the queue for the other bus was longer; cadging a lift off a friend who drove us through snowy streets until reaching a steep hill blocked by an ice-bound car. After pushing our friend’s car back up to level ground we set off on foot through the snow for the best part of an hour.
This morning I remembered why I’m thankful for rarely using the underground; being propelled through tubes by crowds of shuffling and glum commuters being visualliy screamed at by the advertising covering every vertical surface would not be my idea of a good start to the day. But I was lucky; the Central Line’s still down as is part of the Picadilly Line. Add a generous helping of overnight snow and… Vive la revolution!