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to be fed up with rush hour commuters who think they own public transport

(41 Posts)
LadyAga Tue 09-Jun-09 10:07:20

I do my best to avoid being caught in the rush hour commute on the buses/tube/trains etc, but from time to time it does happen when I have my 10mth DS and occassionaly 6yr DD.

At none rush hour times I find people are either helpful or politely uninterested. In rush hour we get tutted and huffed, glared at and subjected to rude, passive-aggressive comments. The whole tone is generally aggressive and unpleasant.

It's public transport, we have as much right to be there are any otherpaying traveller!

For the record, I used to work in the City (not a banker smile ) and I am well aware of the stresses and strains of work and the commute and I don't think excuses being so rude to people/children who happen to be taking up space that you want.... grrr

Lissya Tue 09-Jun-09 10:14:10

I think its par the course... you're either annoyed or an annoyee unfortunately grin used to annoy me when pensioners clogged up the shops at lunchtime too but no doubt one day Ill ber old and doing it too!

kitstwins Tue 09-Jun-09 13:06:19

Then you know. When you're commuting, to see someone with a buggy/suitcases/chidren/doublebass is just intensely annoying because space is at such a premium. The tubes are RAMMED and no, commuters don't 'own' the tubes or buses or have any more right over it than a doublebass-toting pensioner with four suitcases and nine Grandchildren, but the fact of the matter is that the thought "You have ALL day to travel, I can only travel at either side of my working day" does filter into your mind and you DO feel a sliver of resentment. It's not fair, but it's understandable. Someone with a buggy is not on a tube at 6pm for the good of their health, but it IS frustrating as a commuter when space is already at a huge premium.

Prams never really bothered me. It was always the tourists with their ninety suitcases that drove me berserk. Not because they had no right to be on the tube, but because I was an irate commuter and I had to do it every day and I got unreasonably narked at it.

Commuting makes you short of patience. Life and people are imperfect. I would never, ever go on the tube or bus at rushhour with my pram, but that's just me. I'd find it too hideous an experience. It's bad enough on your own, never mind with a pram and offspring and waves of hostility being directed at you.

Worse case scenario you could just apologise profusely and smile sweetly and look a bit frazzled. It might defuse the frosty stares a bit.

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 13:09:46

I quite often try to help people with pushchairs on and off trains if they are on their own.(Shines halo)

But it annoys me when the trains are rammed in half-term and parents let their small children take up seats when everyone is having to stand. If that was me I would have one on my lap.

stickylittlefingers Tue 09-Jun-09 13:12:22

there's a guy on "my" train who commutes every day with his little one. Makes sense to maximise your working day, tho I wouldn't want to commute with a buggy...

Up here tho, people seem to be quite fine with it, probably because it's a lot less crowded. TBH, on my "old" London commute, I wouldn't have thought it was safe to take a little one on the train, it was so jammers it would scare me sometimes.

So YANBU, but I understand why it happened. People aren't their best on a morning commute.

LadyAga Tue 09-Jun-09 15:19:40

I agree, it doesn't feel safe and that is why I usualy avoid the rush hour but sometimes it just can't be helped. As you know rush hour lasts around 4 hours in London so it's not like you can delay your journey until it's over.

pagwatch Tue 09-Jun-09 15:23:54

DH and i used to commute with DS1 in a baby sling. It was hell.
Once DS1 vomitted apple juice all over DH and then they sat in a tunnel for half an hour with DH stinking like an old tramp.

Happy days grin

TheDullWitch Tue 09-Jun-09 15:26:17

Oh yes, people who let their children take a row of seats at rush hour. Put the little ones on your knee and make the 9 yr old pluses stand!

Nancy66 Tue 09-Jun-09 15:26:19

As a former (very angry) commuter I did use to get annoyed with people travelling at inappropriate times. School parties travelling during rush hour really used to hack me off.

When you use the tube in London during rush hour your stress levels can go through the roof: ticket machines don't work, there's a queue at the ticket office, you can't get on the platform, you can't get on a train, it's 100 degress and there's no air, there's signal failure....tempers spill over and then - if there's somebody with a suitcase or a huge backpack or a buggy then, yes, it does become an irritant because they could travel half an hour later and make everyone's life easier.

pagwatch Tue 09-Jun-09 15:27:34

LadyAga I think that you are missing one point here.
It isn't you or the children they are annoyed at - during the rush hour commuters are uniformly annoyed with everyone. I travel at the edges ofthe rush hour sometimes - not often with children - and people just generally glare and have non specific hostility.
You just assume it is about your children as you 'stick out'. But get vaguely in their way and they will be annoyed at you to.

That is what happens when you treat people like cattle. That is why they don't speak to each other. Its everyman for himself.

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 15:32:01

Non-specific hostility. Yes that's exactly what I have when commuting!
Then it gets specific when I get home... Well until the G&T has kicked in anyway.

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 09-Jun-09 15:36:19

Oh the memories of when I commuted into Manchester and on a Friday no-one getting on at Salford could get a seat cos of all the blackpool holiday makers who had got on at Victoria with suitcases, bags, holdalls..(flasks, whippets, hankies knotted on their heads)....and then spread all this baggage on the seats next to them so no-one could sit down.

I think what annoyed me is that the commuters pay full whack all year round so if you are ABLE to travel more cheaply at offpeak times with your bags - then why on earth don't you?

Lissya Tue 09-Jun-09 15:48:03

Oi FJ, less of the northern stereotypes please! smile I take it you're not a born Mancunian (should hope not, projecting that sort of image... tsk...)

Flibbertyjibbet Tue 09-Jun-09 15:53:00

Oi!!! I AM a northern stereotype!!!
I commuted into Manchester from Bolton then Blackburn.
Can't stop to post more, gotta go walk the whippet on't way to the chippy for me tea grin

So no am not a Manc, am far more northern than that.


spicemonster Tue 09-Jun-09 15:53:26

I agree pagwatch. I went to see a friend who lives in the Barbican at the back end of the day (only time we could go) and it was about 6pm when we left. It was awful. No one could see the buggy so kept thinking there was this huge space in the middle of the carriage and shouting at people to move down

<shudder> Never again

SomeGuy Tue 09-Jun-09 15:54:59

I dunno, I've been on commuter trains with mums with a pushchair doing her best to occupy three or even four seats.

And of course commuters are usually tired and grumpy and may not have patience for children annoying them.

Lissya Tue 09-Jun-09 15:59:44

Reet y'are FJ! You should have caught the BUZZ into town instead grin

Chippy tea, mmm... gettus a chips'n'gravy, there's a lovey...

(Lissya loves being hypocritial)

Olifin Tue 09-Jun-09 16:06:43

I would rather extract my eyeballs with a fork than have to commute in/to London.

I grew up in a small Sussex town, from which my Dad commuted every day for 20+ years. I can safely say that I grew up thinking my Dad was the grumpiest, most anti-social person in the world. Since his retirement, I've discovered he's actually a far lovelier person than I ever thought

I'm going to risk a flaming here and point out that no-one HAS to work in central London. They could get a job somewhere else or live somewhere else. If they hate commuting that much, that is.

Or maybe London's transport system should be better?

Katisha Tue 09-Jun-09 16:19:28

Ah Olifin, as you know, life isn't that black and white!

blueshoes Tue 09-Jun-09 16:19:34

Work in central London pays much better and the work tends to be more stimulating, I dare say. I cannot imagine working anywhere else than in central London. So flame me too.

I commuted by overland train. Having previously commuted by tube, i would generally say overland train is slightly better, particularly in summer months.

I don't mind parents with buggies and am used to tuning out children. But not everyone is the same. So anyone who travels with bulky buggies/suitcases or irritable children at peak hours, on their own heads be it - I have been there before as well.

Lots of commuters are kind and helpful too, and give conspiratorial smiles.

Morloth Tue 09-Jun-09 16:36:05

Commuting SUCKS it really really SUCKS, people are grumpy, tired, stressed, late, hungry and just generally annoyed. I know I always was/am.

I never went anywhere near rush hour when I had the buggy/sling and still haven't with 5 year old DS, way too much hassle.

YABU, a commuter train in rush hour is no place for a buggy/small child. I understand that it is occassionally unavoidable, but I don't think you can expect the best of people.

Olifin Tue 09-Jun-09 16:36:42

Katisha- indeed! I just can't imagine anything worse, personally.

blueshoes- you sound like a nice commuter. But why 'on their own heads be it'? It is public transport. For the public to use. I imagine most parents wouldn't be daft enough to choose to use public transport during rush hour but presumably sometimes they have no choice, just like the commuters.

blueshoes Tue 09-Jun-09 17:08:48

Oli, agree that sometimes parents etc have no choice but to travel during peak hours. I have done so myself on a few occasions.

The fact is, people who are not commuting 9-5 generally have more choice about when in the day to travel than those who do. And if you bring bulky/noisy things onto peak hour trains, of course you might encounter people who don't appreciate it or believe that you could not travel at a less inconvenient time. Not that I agree that they should be entitled to show their irritation visibly, but they do.

That's life. Develop a thick skin.

Or don't commute. Or don't travel so laden at peak times. Otherwise, on your own head be it!

badgermonkey Tue 09-Jun-09 17:46:10

I commute by train - not into Central London, in fact on a rural branch line where everyone gets a seat to themselves, and even I get annoyed by people with big suitcases get on. For one, they take aaaaaages to get on and off the train, not just because of the bags but because they keep faffing with where to put the bags, where to sit, do you want the window seat or shall I, putting stuff in the overhead bit etc while there's a queue of passengers waiting to sit down behind them, and also because they DITHER like nobody's business and asks ten people if it's the right train (my station has two platforms, one going each way. It's not St Pancras) and get in a flap when the inspector comes round and talk loudly and worry about whether it will be late (it won't) or if someone will take their seat if they go to the loo (they won't) and so on. It's only a train, not a transatlantic flight!

trellism Tue 09-Jun-09 19:03:58

Ugh, I was trapped this morning on a vv crowded train (not my usual route) between a folding bicycle and an enormous buggy. The mother used the buggy like a battering ram to get on the train and so I was wedged between these two pieces of hardware for 15 minutes. As if that weren't bad enough, I had to contort myself so that another commuter's umbrella did not constantly poke me in the bump.

I understand that sometimes mothers have to transport their children at peak times but a little consideration might not go amiss... I've commuted for years and these things drive me nuts.

But as we were trundling along, the child in the pushchair became restive and noisy.
"Why don't you look for rabbits out of the window?" her mother asked.
"THERE ARE NO RABBITS!" the kid exclaimed.
"Oh, OK, how about rats then? There'll be loads of rats."
"Ooh, rats!" said the kid.

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