No, not the announcement of above-inflation fare rises in the middle of this week of generalised train chaos (District, Picadilly and Silverlink today). Nor even the implication (by Virgin among others) that we passengers should somehow be grateful that they’re putting on all these extra trains to carry all the extra fare paying passengers they’re getting – haven’t these people heard of economies of scale? No, I’m talking about the disabled seats on the Northern Line.
These flip up (with some force) to make space for a wheelchair, which is handy if you’re in a wheelchair and are lucky enough to be making a journey between two of the three wheelchair accessible stations on the Northern Line*. But I only realised the downside of this last night when a blind guy got on with his dog at London Bridge. The man in the disabled spot promptly offered his seat and got up – the seat flipped up automatically, the blind man tried to sit down and much hilarity ensued…
No, no, no, no, of course that didn’t happen. At least not this time. The seat offering chap saw the problem and held it down, and the blind guy seemed to be wise to it anyway. I wonder if he ever had to find out the hard way though? And who – if anyone – actually designs these things?
*London Bridge, West Finchley and Woodside Park, since you ask