30 July, 2012

Charing Cross Queues

Charing Cross Queue
Well, the journey in this morning was *okay*, the train was about 5 minutes late into Earlswood, it was full and standing by Redhill (just lots of commuters deciding to get the earlier train, I guess)...London Bridge was absolute *chaos*, hundreds of tourists wearing sports clothes, but amazingly they all seemed to know where they were going...Had to wait for the second train to Charing Cross before I could get on and find a seat and Charing Cross itself was pretty empty... The really, really worrying bit? Getting outside and discovering the *huge* queueing system set up outside ready for all the crowds tonight...honestly, it's about twice the size of the Easyjet check-in queue at Gatwick airport...the other really, really worrying bit? Hearing *three* times that absolutely no trains are going to be leaving from London Bridge *at all* after 6pm... What to do tonight? :(

25 July, 2012

Olympic Commute...

London Bridge Olympic sign
Okay, I'm starting to get slightly concerned about next week now...not only (on BBC Breakfast this morning) did they show the (pretty amazing) Olympic travel control center, which looked a bit like the War Room set in Dr Strangelove, there interviewing an official who was saying something along the lines of "I pity the fools who are going to try and get into London as usual" (I paraphrase slightly, but that was the essence), I then spotted this new sign at Charing Cross when I got there this morning...

I *can't* board my train home at Charing Cross...!  Am I going to be allowed to change at London Bridge platform 5, or will I be forced to exit the station and re-queue to get in?  Taking a Tonbridge train (and rolling the dice) is starting to seem more attractive if that is to be my alternative...

Update - Started to plan bus routes in and out of Central London...reminder to put lots of money on my Oyster card...

24 July, 2012

New Olympic Street Furniture

Olympic street furniture Olympic street furniture
Wow, things have really started changing around here...
Olympic street furniture
...large signs pointing (sometimes the wrong) way to landmarks -
Olympic banners Olympic banners
- Olympic banners on the street lights -
Affected bus stop Olympics
- warnings that bus stops might not do quite what they normally do -
Olympic banners
- and some replacements for the union jack flags of the Jubilee... ;)

23 July, 2012

Popcorn Delivery - Leicester Square

Popcorn delivery - leicester square
Oh no...surely not?  They deliver all the popcorn to the cinemas in Leicester Square already popped??

A huge delivery truck, full of pallets of popcorn...if it *hadn't* been popped the whole delivery would have just about filled a single carrier bag and could have been dropped off by one guy on a push bike!


19 July, 2012

Bye Bye Batman...

Bye bye Batman

Changing your journey during the Olympics

Olympic Mascot sculpture Olympic Mascot sculpture
So some nice new sculptures have appeared on my brief walk to work (complete with shouty signs warning against clambering onto them)...crikey, is it really only 8 days until everything kicks off?
Changes to your journey - Olympics

At Charing Cross they were handing out more leaflets...this time the useful advice is as follows -

  • Don't go to London Bridge (go to Victoria or Blackfriars instead)
  • If you must go to London Bridge don't use the Tube (either walk the full way to your office or use Borough Tube - a ten minute walk)
  • Avoid getting your train home from London Bridge
  • Don't even think about trying to get a train home from London Bridge at certain times and from certain platforms as they will be 'exit only'
  • Expect to queue every day (allowing extra time) at London Bridge, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Victoria and St Pancras International
Okay...so I *could* go to Victoria (even though it's going to be busy too) and I *could* walk all the way to the office (I did it the other day for an off site meeting) but it took about 45 minutes.  Not *ideal*...and really scraping around to try and follow these suggestions, yes, apparently I *can* avoid London Bridge completely - I can get a train to Charing Cross (and home again), but it involves going via *Tonbridge* - and the trains at that time of night/morning Tonbridge-Redhill are *hourly*, so if I miss my connection (or it's cancelled) that is one hell of a long commute...

So I think what I am going to do is just try doing exactly the same commute as normal (at least on the first couple of days) and see what happens, because frankly my two other *possible* options are fraught with probably *more* risk of being significantly late than standing in a queue of confused tourists at London Bridge...*he bravely speculates*...

18 July, 2012

Dark Knight Rises London Premiere

Dark Knight Rises premiere London
...is in Leicester Square today!  They have been busy building the (amazing) stage for three days now! Dark Knight Rises premiere London
Anyway, the fans are *already* out in force (even though all the *real* action is still about 8 hours away)...
Dark Knight Rises premiere London
Still, they got to see the (desert camouflage) Batmobile arriving (it's in the middle there if you click the image to enlarge it)...just hope they'll leave us a bit of space to get out of the office this evening... ;)

17 July, 2012

Charing Cross Closed

Charing Cross accident
Oo-er...so came into Charing Cross this morning to announcements that due to an 'accident' Charing Cross tube was closed (didn't stop a few people heading down the escalators though)...Outside, four fire engines -
  Charing cross accident
- and at least three ambulances (plus numerous police cars)-
Charing cross accident
- hope everything is okay down there... :(  Nothing in the news as yet...

Update - Twitter is speaking of a 'smell of smoke' - whole station is now closed

10 July, 2012

Charing Cross Olympic Practice

London Bridge Olympic signs
...was today (spotted some nice new signs at London Bridge on the way)...got to Charing Cross (slightly nervous) and discovered-
Charing Cross Olympic practice
...practically nothing had changed!  A barrier to stop you getting to some of the small shops...okay, sort of makes sense, you don't want people queueing up for drinks blocking the concourse...
Charing Cross Olympic practice
...and one of the entrances was closed (that not many people use anyway)...oh and there were a handful of people in pink vests looking self conscious...was that really worth leafleting everyone for an entire day telling them to allow additional time for their journey?

05 July, 2012

Adtech permissions...

You are not log
...honestly?  I'm not sure I ever wanted to be a 'log', but if you insist I need to be one...? ;)

03 July, 2012

Olympic Practice at Charing Cross

Charing Cross Olympic practice
So, hang on, as well as having to deal with the (inevitable) disruption during the *actual* Olympic Games at Charing Cross (big screens in Trafalgar Square, beach volleyball, general tourism to the area, etc.) we also have to have a rehearsal?

...and where are the details?  I see that it's on the 10th of July, but as far as I can see there is nothing about it on getaheadofthegames.com (I did look), flipped the leaflet over, and - it's blank!  What are they going to do?  Hire 2000 people to clog the trains between London Bridge and Charing Cross all day?  Close all the barriers except one?  Deliberately cause the trains to arrive at the same time to increase foot traffic?

So I am to be prepared to allow additional time to complete my journey...wouldn't it be nice to know just a little bit more information about precisely what they are planning to do to deliberately spoil my commute...and couldn't they just let the commute happen and then practice during the middle of the day?