Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

Oh, such transports of delight!

Working locally on Time & Leisure magazine has many advantages, not least the fact that it is such a buzzy publication with nice people to work with, knowing what is happening locally but also I don’t have far to travel to work.

For me it’s a short bus or a bike ride and I am there. So when I have to occasionally take a trip to town via the Northern line (Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in the rush hour it is something of a shock to realise what other Londoners experience on a daily basis as they make their way to work.

I find myself standing in a carriage, arms pinned to my sides, fighting for my share of foot-space in closer proximity to my fellow passengers than I would ever care to be (or to be fair, them to me). However hard you to try ignore other passengers it is difficult with your nose pressed up against someone’s arm pit or other intimate parts of their body. Some passengers attempt to read newspapers, books or cling to kindles but it seems impossible in such a crush.

I now realise what others have to put up with on a daily basis. It is a general understanding that if this was a case of animal rights there would be a huge outcry. The RSPCA would immediately jump on the band wagon (or tube) and demand an act of Parliament and hanging or flogging for those to blame. But not to worry, I am told that UERL have the solution. Their brilliant solution to drastic overcrowding is to advise passengers to walk. I’m not sure where they expect people to walk to - maybe it’s up the line in the hope that it’s not so crowded further up or maybe to forget the whole attempt at a train ride. Charing Cross or Canary Wharf is not so far away after all! Alternative advice offered by UERL on their leaflet: ‘By making a small change to the time they travel our passengers’ journeys could be faster and more comfortable’ the Railway Company urges. People could wait till lunch time and explain to the boss that it’s not my fault. I left later as I was told to and had to walk.’ It just seems odd that a transport company advises its customers to forget the whole business and take to shank’s pony. Maybe it’s the philosophy that should apply to the whole of London Transport and we could have every one walking; this would certainly make us all fit, reduce obesity, cut down the use of the freedom pass (saving the local government lots of money) and keep the trains and buses nice and clean.

It’s a bit like the National Health Service advising patients to give up the idea of a surgeon and take an aspirin to sort appendicitis. Or instead of watching the news, sit down with a pencil and paper and write your own. Certainly it would be more cheerful. Other possibilities are Underground Railways Electric could put on more trains ( I think that is a bit revolutionary!), passengers could move up north or maybe apply for a job at Time & Leisure - but hurry because there could be a rush for the plum jobs, mine included and we are only a small, local company.

Tony Kane is founder of Time & Leisure Media Group