London Life

Putting the “F” into TFL

Aside from waking up at an un-godly hour to get to the hospital for my MRI scan, my morning wasn’t the most fun. I found out at the last minute that London Underground was providing its usual weekend service (i.e. half the network down for “upgrades”) which meant me taking the DLR to Bow and getting a dreaded rail replacement bus service.


I don’t know about you, but when I read the phrase “rail replacement”, I assume that the service provided is to mimic that of the rail journey you would make. Double-checking the destination and stops with the driver as I got on, I was a tad annoyed to find out that the bus flew past the tube stop I needed.

With me on it.

I wasn’t alone. Half of the bus jumped out of their seats and shouted as one. The bus driver kept going, flying along the Bow Road, narrowly missing cyclists and pedestrians as he swerved from lane to lane.

He had a colleague from TfL “assisting” him. By which I mean she leant against the driver’s cabin telling him not to stop at various bust stops and complaining about her early start. Quite loudly. When asked anything by passengers,  all she would do was repeatedly say this wasn’t her real job, she didn’t know the route and only had a map to go by.

Without any sense of irony, she kept saying “I’m only following the orders I was given this morning”. They even refused to let people off the bus when we stopped at traffic lights.

For someone who works for TfL, she really didn’t know much. Didn’t know which tube lines were affected by the “upgrades”, didn’t know how passengers could get on the Central Line (Mile End station was closed) and didn’t know why we weren’t going to stop at each District Line tube station as the label “rail replacement” would suggest. She wasn’t able to answer a single question from any passenger and demonstrated a complete and utter lack of customer service.

After a few minutes, all I really wanted to do was just get off the bus and start walking, deeply regretting the decision to get on in the first place.

I eventually got off at Whitechapel and ended up walking back to my MRI appointment. Only when I was halfway along the route did I realise I’d somehow lost my Fitbit. This is the third unit I’ve somehow managed to lose, so I doubt I’ll be replacing it. Just too much cash for something that – albeit very useful – is so easily detached from my trousers!

Mumbling a neat little line of various expletives to myself, I got to the hospital late, but still in time for my scan. The scan itself went like clockwork, the only pain being the fact that I had to listen to “Smooth FM” on the earphones for 20 minutes. There’s only so much Lionel Richie a man can listen to, believe me. Even this man.

Some additional X-rays scheduled for Monday and I’ll soon find out exactly what’s wrong with m’knee. And *hopefully* get back running as soon as possible.

On the upside, I managed a walk around the Isle of Dogs this afternoon. Better than nothing, but a route I’d much rather run than walk.

2 comments on “Putting the “F” into TFL

  1. alevelstudentblogger

    You should look at my blog on rail replacement buses, it is complete madness.


  2. Pingback: Return of the FitBit | MacPsych

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