So the games are coming to town really soon and all the athletes are coming in from around the globe to settle in at the village in Stratford. London has created a priority route from Heathrow (all the way west outside London) to Stratford (all the way East in London) which allows priority traffic for athletes to get escorted in BMWs which are painted red. There were complaints that the routes were not signposted well enough which has caused massive bottlenecks today.

A crowded train in rush hour in the first class carriage

A crowded train in rush hour in the first class carriage


It is one of the reasons why after 2 years of driving into London that I decided to start using the train to get in and out of London. I am right now sitting on a train, albeit in first class sat in a pitch black tunnel waiting to get home on a train massively delayed because of a signalling problem. Having made it one stop towards my destination (out of 8) I am optimistic that I will eventually make it home but am confident that I will have to fill out one of those train delay complaint forms. To successfully claim for delayed travel, the train has to be delayed by at least half an hour and then requires a lengthy form to be filled out at the victim’s time expense. In return for filling out a form, they reimburse a small fraction of your season ticket or they will give you more if you bought a day ticket. The funny thing is that they pay compensation in train vouchers!
The train driver was pretty funny tonight, he sounded more depressed than many of the commuters huddled around my seat. Granted it has been rare that the train has been this crowded in first class and I am lucky that I can afford the luxury and am willing to pay for the premium so that I have a guaranteed table to type my blog on and almost always a seat. The driver kept telling people to leave the train, jump ship and catch a train from London Bridge or Victoria instead; a crazy recommendation, travelling at peak time unless you enjoy getting crushed.
Although G4s has massively messed up over the security of the games, my biggest worry about the games coming to London is the added burden to the public transport infrastructure when the thing actually gets underway. I have tickets to watch the tennis and in my bundle this week there were also a pair of tickets for the London underground. As they are free and included with tickets, there will be no room for complaining, as there will be no compensation for a ticket that has been handed out gratis. The ticket allows for travel in zones 1-9 (I never knew there were zones after 6) and are the paper type which may annoy Oyster card users.
Thankfully I have one of the weeks off for holiday time which will be spent back in London or at home fixing something in the house. This should help ease my grinding journey in and out of London and keep my delays for the year down to a minimum. For now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No really, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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