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To want to go into London on public transport?

30 replies

Lovecat · 18/04/2007 16:00

I'm interested to know the MN take on this dilemma -

I live 5 mins walk away from a mainline station that takes me straight into London. There are lifts at the other end so no probs with pushchair etc. However, the local station has no facilities (apart from a v. dodgy-looking stannah arrangement that is definitely not for pushchairs!) and a long, steep flight of stairs to all platforms.

When DD was a wee thing and carriable, I used to go with her sling already strapped to me and put her in it whilst I folded the pushchair at the top of the stairs (or not bother with the pushchair at all, it depended on weather etc) and carried it down. Invariably some kind person would offer to help whilst I was manoeuvring dd into the sling, and I often didn't have to take her out of the pushchair at all.

Now, however, she's 2.2 and must have some sort of extra gravity deal going on, because despite being a shortarse she feels like several tons of lead in my arms. So as the babycarrier is out of the question, and she's not yet at a stage where I could trust her to stand still on a train platform (not without gripping her so hard I'd cut off the circulation to her wrist), my only option is the pushchair. Plus, as we're going to be doing a lot of walking about, I'd like to have it with me in case she gets tired.

Which leads me to my dilemma - if I set off for town tomorrow morning, AIBU to assume that people will offer to help me take it down the stairs?

In the past people always have done, but I feel it's a horrible imposition to expect them to help me, and I'd like to have some other way of managing it if possible...

What do you guys do?

My alternative is to drive 3 miles out of my way to the nearest walk-on tube station, pay a fortune for the car park (providing I can find a space), and have the hassle of getting back again in the evening.

Quite apart from the ridiculousness of having to drive to get to use public transport, the last time I did this, the tube went tits-up and what was supposed to be a casual early dinner in the city with friends, getting home for 7.30pm bedtime, turned into a nightmare of not only trying to get home but having to then go rescue the car before it got clamped... we eventually got home at 11pm (and she still woke up at 6.30am, bless her little cotton socks...grrrr...).


OP posts:

bossykate · 18/04/2007 16:02

someone will help you, i am sure

if no-one offers, if you ask politely and appeal to someone's better nature i'm sure they would help.


SparklyGothKat · 18/04/2007 16:03

I go into London on a regular basic with DS who is 9 and uses a wheelchair. We have a bridge that we have walk over to get to the plaform, and people always help us. People are usually very helpful when it comes to buggys and wheelchairs


NotQuiteCockney · 18/04/2007 16:04

I find people are generally helpful, but here are some suggestions for how you could do this on your own, if you find nobody ablebodied enough when you go:

  1. bump the pram up and down the stairs. This is easier to do with a pram with long handles and inflated wheels, but I do this reasonably often, when nobody offers to help. Ok, and DS2 really likes it bumpy, anyway. I am a big girl with good upper body strengh, which probably helps.

2. carry the pram yourself, sideways. This is harder work than 1. but faster.

3. get your DD to walk up/down the stairs on her own while you carry the pram. You go faster than her (I hope!) so you can meet her at the other end and put her back in the pram

4. use a backpack or similar

5. carry her on your shoulders. This is much more ergonomic than holding a toddler in your arms or on your hips. Hard work, though.

TeeCee · 18/04/2007 16:04

Someone always helps but if you like ring ahead to the station and tell them you'll need help.

Lots of people will ignore you and the buggy but soemone will help and if they don't then ask.

I've never had a problem.


nailpolish · 18/04/2007 16:05

IME, young men are the most likely to help you. Seriously, i fyou dont get any offers of help, as k a nice young man. go for it


MrsBadger · 18/04/2007 16:05

People will help if you don't go in rush hour, but a lightweight pushchair with a shoulderstrap is worth a look if you're in the market for a new one, so at least if you meet stairs or similar obstacle you're able to carry her and the pushchair a short distance before reassembling at the top.


NotQuiteCockney · 18/04/2007 16:07

You can carry a pushchair sideways-like, with a baby in it.

The bumping thing also really works - it's one of the great advantages of my giant three-wheeler, you can bounce it down or up a flight of stairs reasonably easily.


Lovecat · 18/04/2007 16:16

Thanks - I'm sure people will help me, I just feel incredibly cheeky going along expecting them to help!

NQC - cheers for the tips, have never thought of carrying her sideways, don't know why (d'oh!). Two wheels on my 3 wheeler are flat atm (that's a whole other thread - where do you go to get new wheels for an all-terrain pushchair? The 15yo at Mothercare more or less blanked me when I asked her) but I do have one of those v.lightweight folding jobbies so will probably take that out with us - only prob with that is it has no raincover, but tomorrow should be safe...

Thanks again

OP posts:

TeeCee · 18/04/2007 16:19

I had bruises all up my thigh from carrying mine on teh side up a flight of stairs once. Another time I was at a quiet station and was struggling up a load of stairs with the buggy and a man ran past me. I shouted up after hiom 'you bastard!' He truned round, apologised profusely and helped me! H heeeeee


NotQuiteCockney · 18/04/2007 16:22

Lovecat, you don't want to go to mothercare. They're bike tubes inside, as long as the tyres don't need replacing, just change the tubes. Actually, either way, you want to go to your local friendly bike shop. Just bring the wheels, if you can, less work. They should change the tube and or tyres as needed.


vwvic · 18/04/2007 16:22

Sorry to burst in, but I got new tyres and inner tubes for my tree wheeler froma bike shop- they even did them for me!


vwvic · 18/04/2007 16:23

Gah, NCQ beat me to it!


Lovecat · 18/04/2007 16:24

Ooh, ta for that.

Silly me went to Mothercare because, it having come from there (being one of their own makes), I assumed they might have spare parts for it also... how could I have been so dense?

There's a bike shop just up the road so will get that sorted pronto - excellent, I've been missing our jaunts to the forest (the lightweight chair just can't cope with the paths there!)!

OP posts:

NotQuiteCockney · 18/04/2007 16:25

Try the three-wheeler for the stairs, I really find mine much better for this sort of travel than my McLaren.


Lovecat · 18/04/2007 17:07

Cheers, will do.

We're off to the Science museum and then up to the Diana playground in Kensington Gardens - have planned it meticulously to avoid most stairs (I know there's some at South Ken but I seem to recall they're staggered and not quite so precipitous as the ones at the local station!)... we shall see!

OP posts:

agnesnitt · 18/04/2007 17:10

If they're only punctures fix them. I fixed two on my three wheeler, dead easy and the kits cost about a pound

If you're determined to have new tyres or innertunes, Mothercare can order replacements, easier if you have your original manual. The local bike shop might be able to help too, or just mend the puncture for you if you're not keen on doing it yourself.



FloatingLikeALeadBalloon · 18/04/2007 17:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovecat · 18/04/2007 17:14

I'm a lazy git, agnes

My mum bought the pushchair for me, 2nd hand, so there's no manual and I'm one of those people who takes things apart to fix them and then can never quite put them back together again...

So it's probably safest to take it to the professionals! (God, I'm such a girl when it comes to this sort of thing... mind you, so is Mr LC....)

OP posts:

TheBlonde · 18/04/2007 17:32

I used the tube a lot with DS
I have no shame in asking the first person to make eye contact to help me - no one has ever refused

Now he is over 2 I tend to take a light maclaren. I stick reins on him and then fold the buggy for the stairs. I then either carry him to have him walk holding my hand
The reins just prevent him making a break for it!


Lovecat · 18/04/2007 20:25

Ooh, reins are a good idea, TheBlonde. I have a wrist link thing but it's velcro-ed so she knows if she pulls hard enough it'll come away, so I was a bit unsure about risking it, iykwim.

Must suss out getting hold of some for the next big trip.

Btw, it's just struck me that tomorrow I will be in the Science Museum, with an immaculately-dressed dd, wearing Footglove sandals, a baggy t-shirt and some fairly scabby shorts (if it's hot). Please don't judge me too harshly...

OP posts:

SparklyGothKat · 18/04/2007 21:32

when I had a mothercare urban detour I took the wheel to the local bike shop where they replaced the inner tube, and put a special coating on the inside of the wheel to stop it getting puntures.


Lovecat · 19/04/2007 17:56

Well, we've just got back....

Not one bugger offered to help! Just watched me struggle with the buggy - still, at least carrying it sideways made things a bit easier and we had a lovely day, so thanks for the advice!

OP posts:

twobabies · 19/04/2007 20:46

Just out of interest are you talking about Chelmsford station, don't say if you don't want to lol. Cause I have the same problems there


makkapakka · 19/04/2007 20:48

I often go into London and have to go down stairs and some nice chappy always helps me with the pushchair. go for it!


makkapakka · 19/04/2007 20:49

sorry, Lovecat, missed your post! sorry to hear that - should have grabbed someone!

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