It didn’t take a genius to predict that London’s creaking tube system would prove the weak link in the London 2012 infrastructure. Now the bleating has begun – see above. The system has been underinvested and poorly managed for years and years. Symbolic of this is the ceiling in one of the tunnels of a station I regularly visit. The ceiling has been under repair for some time. Six months?, a year? No. Over seventeen years. Yes, seventeen years I have been walking under that ceiling patched up with chicken wire that has the ‘temporary’ lighting hanging down. All over the tube there are similar botched up repairs ‘underway’. The fact that the system runs as well as it does is testament to the dedication of the hard pressed staff and the even harder pressed passengers who daily endure manky stations and trains, delays and overcrowding. What was once the pride of London and a beacon of modern efficiency to the world is now a shambling shadow of its former glory. We can write the 2012 headlines now can’t we? All that’s needed to complete the teetering timebomb will be a well timed Olympic strike from the ongoingly aggrieved LT staff.
Mind the gap.