Boris Johnson has announced a £10 billion project to widen escalators in all stations on the London Underground to fit a third line of people, which will reduce congestion and the annoyance of commuters whose walking pace is above average.
The new system will create three lanes: keeping the right-most one for casual commuters and the lazy, and effectively splitting the left one into two: walking-pace in the middle and oh-god-I’m-already-an-hour-late-for-my-date running on the left. It remains to be seen which of the two tourists will use. In order to minimise disruption the renovations will be done a few stations at a time but on weekdays since the weekends are always fully booked for regular engineering works; however, the piecemeal nature of the project means that it will not be completed until 2016 plus five years.
Funding will come from an additional 5% annual rise in fares, whose announcement caused a flurry of emails to be sent to the Metro newspaper. This was followed by realisation of the futility of such and begrudging acceptance of increased costs. Boris Johnson made a statement saying “anyone who doesn’t like it can drive to work”.