We do not approve.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have never travelled on the tube, you’ll know the golden rule: escalator chillers must stand on the right, while the left is always free for those who want to walk (run) up and down to get to their destination that tiny bit quicker.
But in a controversial campaign by Transport for London (TFL), commuters are now being told to stand on both sides of the escalator, in a desperate attempt to ease congestion in underground stations.
Passengers travelling during rush hour at Holborn station were greeted by TFL staff members shouting into megaphones, instructing them to stand on both sides of the platform.
Staff at the station, which is one of the busiest in London, believe that standing still on the escalators will reduce bottlenecks and speed up departures through the street exits.
Holborn was chosen due to its lengthy escalator, which means most commuters avoid the climb and stand on the right instead – causing congestion at the bottom – while the left-hand side of the escalator remains mostly empty.
TFL believes making use of both sides of the escalator will almost double the number of people using the escalators and therefore reduce the build-up of people trying to exit the station.
Unsurprisingly, commuters were not enthused about the experiment, with Twitter users observing that ‘London commuters could not be more out of their comfort zone’.
Peter McNaught, Operations Director for the Central line, told The Independent: ‘Holborn station is one of the busiest on the Tube network, experiencing high demand in both the morning and evening peaks. As part of a three-week trial to reduce queues and keep people moving through the station, we are encouraging customers to stand on both sides of the ‘up’ escalators during busy periods.
‘We believe this will increase the capacity of the escalators as more people will be able to board, preventing queuing at the bottom of the escalator.’
We have to be honest, we’re not sure about this… what are your thoughts on this revolutionary escalator revolution? Let us know @marieclaireuk