'Ken Hell.......


Veteren member
Ok guys, i sent this via the TFL customer feedback form today. Place your bets now on what sort of reply i'll get back from them :rolleyes:

To Whom it may concern,

Dear Transport for London,

Or may I call you Ken? No? Doesn’t matter, as you never seem to listen to customer feedback or suggestions anyway, so hereafter I shall refer to you as Ken. I am writing to you today to air my grievances at yet another pathetic display by our sorry excuse for a public transport network. Let me set the scene for you. Last night I was travelling back home having been to see The White Stripes concert held at Alexandra Palace. In case you are unaware, the White Stripes are a popular “beat combo” emanating from the United States (you know, those people on the other side of the pond with whom you have such a problem). Anyway, said concert finished circa 10.30 and then as is customary at these events there is the usual post-event scrum for people to obtain their possessions from the cloakroom.

Alexandra Palace is, as you are doubtless aware situated on top of a large hill, and very poorly connected with the rest of London. Granted there is an overground rail service, but as I was walking down the hill to Wood Green (the nearest tube station as Alexandra Palace overground goes nowhere near any meaningful connections for me to continue my journey to Kilburn Park) I noticed that Alexandra Palace station was massively overcrowded as the supply of trains was clearly mismatched to the demand at that time.

I eventually made it to Wood Green station circa 11.45, leaving what I thought was plenty of time to make one of the last tubes. After all, Ken, we live in one of the most thriving and exciting cities in the world, do we not? I shall continue. I decided to purchase my ticket from one of your new ticket machines, since I had no loose change. Firstly the card reader failed to read my card at least twice, forcing me to then have to dig out a new card to use. This situation is excusable as all sorts of retail outfits have trouble with card reading. What is not acceptable is the fact that it now costs £2.50 for a single journey to return home a journey of some 5 miles! Whilst I appreciate that the rise in fares has been “necessary”/”justified” in order to improve London’s creaking transport network, as I shall explain later in this email, I am not satisfied that this is actually happening. I may only be 26, but as far back as I can remember, every time the fares go up each year, they have always been rationalised by the same claptrap that the extra money is needed in order improve public transport services. If this was the case 10 years ago, then why haven’t services been improved in the past. What reason has the general public to believe that “this time it is different” and “yes of course we are doing our best to make London a more pleasant place to be”, or other such paraphrases that come from your PR departments. Indeed, if all this money is going on improving our tube network, then can I draw your attention to the fact that the 3 most recent crashes on the tube network have occurred on the more modern lines, with the newest trains.

Moving on again, lest I get bogged down in the great swamp that is Public Transport in this country. Having purchased this ticket, much to my chagrin and surprise at the fare, I was just about pass through the ticket barrier and head down to catch the train, when that familiar request “Would Inspector Sands please come to the ticket office” muffled its way through the tannoy. Ah yes, Inspector Sands. The bane of many a commuter. Why London Underground cannot just come out and say “Fire! Fire! Get out now!” I will never know. After all if this coded message is there not to alarm the passengers, then what is the purpose of the fire alarm that was wailing its bell out on the wall. I appreciate that we have a great sense of tradition and heritage in this country, and that maybe this coded message is a throwback to the Victorian era (I really may have to check my facts on this one) but surely a simple, clear message would serve this purpose better? Anyway, I digress yet further.

As I stated earlier, I was about to enter the barriers, when the alarm went off, and the station staff were preventing people from entering the system. Shortly afterwards, the station began to empty as the evacuation of the station continued. Bearing in mind how busy it was, considering the event that had occurred at Alexandra Palace that evening, attended by several thousand people, you can imaging how many people were leaving the platforms and returning above ground. No-one had any idea what was going on, and there were no public announcements about what to do. This I find typical of London Underground. A short while later, the alarm desisted. The time must have been approximately midnight at this point, and there were many people still hanging around the tube station waiting to go back in in order to get home. Upon attempting to get back down to the platforms, our ever helpful security guard finally pronounced that the tubes had stopped running thus meaning we all had to find alternative methods of transport home. Excellent. So, having forked out an excessive fare for a journey home on the tube, I was now not able to use this ticket, and instead faced up to the prospect of having to pay for two night buses in order to get home. Amusing it wasn’t.

So I proceeded to the nightbus stop in Wood Green, having fathomed that the quickest way home was catching the N29 to camden, followed by the N31 to Kilburn high Road. A relatively simple proposition, and one that shouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of the bus network. Rather foolishly I decided to check the timetable and discovered that the N29 ran every 10-12 minutes at that time. Now im not sure which particular sadist is responsible for concocting these bus timetables, but they clearly live in a different temporal universe. Now I appreciate that Poisson distribution (elementary maths theory) reasons that the buses wont be evenly distributed every 10 minutes, but bearing in mind that one hadn’t gone past for several minutes whilst standing outside the tube and then walking to the bus stop, I wouldn’t have expected a wait in excess of 20 minutes. Still Stirling Moss eventually turned up on night-release from running the rides at alton towers with his nice shiny new bus. He then attempted to drive his route to Camden. The driver must have had lead in his shoes as the journey was appallingly dangerous. The rapid acceleration and then braking, whilst obviously exciting for the driver, was rather disconcerting for the paying passengers, especially this particular one whose night, which had started so enjoyably was degenerating rapidly.

So we arrived in Camden in record time. The driver could therefore head home safe in the knowledge that he had negotiated another day without killing anyone in an horrible road accident. ( “RTA”’s as you probably refer to them as, Ken). I walked to the next nightbus stop to catch my favourite nightbus home to Kilburn. I use the term “favourite” in a very loose sense. It is just that since I have spent so much time either travelling on it or waiting for it in the past, I have come to regard it as a rather close friend. Last night, this “friend” didn’t let me down once again, as yet again I had to wait for another 20 minutes for a bus that supposedly runs every 10 mins during the early hours of the night. Hmm. No chance.

Now im not sure what cretin has designed the countdown timers that have recently been installed on the bus stops, but can I please point out, I am yet to encounter one that if working at all, bears any relationship to what time the bus eventually deigns to show up. Obviously this particular person has been to the same School of Sadism as the person responsible for concocting the legendarily awful timetables. Still, all in the name of progress, Ken. At least it gives you something to justify your budgets for next year. Indeed, for this year, you may be able to spend your funding making the things work this time. After all, with all this new revenue coming from the bargain value tube tickets now sold, I would have thought that fixing these red LED’s of despair would be a cakewalk.

Eventually, the bus turned up. But not before it had spent 5 mins idling at the “alighting point only” at the end of the road, where the driver clearly decided that he had done enough work to merit a break. Now im not sure what the EU guidelines on driving times are, but having a 5 min break at either end of a 30 min route is surely pushing it a bit. Still, having folded up his Daily Sport, or whatever the paper of choice is currently recommended at Bus Driver Training School, he decided to do the decent thing, and eventually pick up some passengers. At this point I would also like to point out that at the stop just up the road, there was a small group of people waiting for a different bus. When the bus they wanted came hurtling round the corner at breakneck speed onto Bayham Street, they signalled clearly, but the bus, despite being in service, and by no means full, clearly decided that picking up passengers was beneath its station and decided to continue merrily on its way, much to the annoyance of the passengers-in-waiting.

Dearest Ken, it is good to see that the standards at the schools where your drivers are taught are so high and consistent that you produce such safe,defensive drivers. I appreciate that it was by now 1am and that cars were somewhat scarce on the road, but a small degree of commonsense and safety would have gone down well. Thankfully the driver of the N31 decided to offer something resembling a decent service home, despite his tardy arrival, and I managed to get somewhere resembling home about 1.30. All for the combined bargain price of £4.50.

I wish that last nights events were a one-off, but sadly they are becoming all too common in recent years. I used to live in south-west London, and the fun and games caused by South West Trains were probably only surpassed in their hilarity by Connex. Ah, how I recall those halcyon Sundays spent sitting on the platform awaiting the one train an hour into Waterloo, and how I regularly used to chuckle when the mumbled voice over the tannoy would announce 20 minutes after the train was due to arrive that it had been cancelled owing to “lack of drivers” and the next train would be along in an hour. Oh yes, they really new how to make us all laugh.

Ken, may I congratulate you on your re-admission to the Labour party. That Tony is a wag isn’t he. It is commonly held proletarian view that Labour is anti-car. In fact I believe quite the opposite – current legislation and appalling mismanagement of public transport is forcing more people to consider using their cars so that they don’t have to subject themselves to the abomination that currently presents itself as a London transport network.

Look on the bright side though, Ken, at least with another failed Olympic bid on the cards, we may all look forward to being able to spend the money improving the fragile transport system we have got, rather than spreading the creaking behemoth ever thinner across our expanding capital.

Yours sincerely



Well-known member
Well, it certainly made me laugh.

Unfortunately, however, I fear it will either (1) have absolutely no impact on our mate Ken, or (2) give him a sense of satisfaction knowing that his undoubted goal of hacking off everyone in London is going to plan.


Well-known member
Youv'e got to have a car, other wise you are serverley restricted
in travelling around greater london after 11pm, I'm sure one of
Red ken's henchmen will send you a reply, I beleive I read in the London evening standard somewhile ago, that this is the guy who allegedly use's taxi / private hire, to make business trips to blackpool and other exoctic locations
and costs the tax payer in the region of £300 per around trip, I don't think you'll find him using public transport after 11pm or anyone in government for that matter........but you never know, good luck


Veteren member
Well jolly old TFL still havent responded yet. Either the poor people whose job it is to read these sorts of things filed it instantly into the recycle bin, or they are still looking up some of the words in the dictionary.

Im not holding my breath for a response at all. We could be here all week otherwise.

and knowing london transport, that is a distinct possibility.

on another note, will the Dow please just get its act together and sell off this afternoon!!!!!!!!!!! Im trying to close my D4F account and move to Capital Spreads as they offer a daily cash bet with a decent spread, and my new trading system (Mark 5 or 6 now!!) relies on Market on Close orders, which D4F wont allow unless placed via telephone. Thing is, im loathe to close my D4F account at the moment as ive got a £40/point short on it at the moment, and i dont really want to close at break even.

Gonna try to start trading my new system next week. Gonna be an interesting experiment to see how it trades in real life :rolleyes:



Veteren member
Hmm, update...

banked 82 points today. moderately chuffed. time to switch to capital spreads and get serious about this 'ere trading lark!!! :cool:

in the meantime, time for bed, and time to sleep off the inevitable hangover after a night at the greyounds lol!!! :devilish:

b*gger. those pesky hounds!

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