Sunday 23 October 2016

Standing room only for commuters on two escalators at Holborn Tube station

Published 18/04/2016 | 06:56

Travellers at Holborn will be asked to stand on both the left and right on escalators
Travellers at Holborn will be asked to stand on both the left and right on escalators

Commuters will be urged to abandon standard Tube etiquette and stand on both sides of escalators to reduce congestion at one of London Underground's (LU) busiest stations.

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From Monday, Tube users at Holborn station in central London will be asked to stand on both the right and left sides of two upward-moving escalators nearest the Central Line platforms.

Transport for London (TfL) hopes the new standing formation will make the most of wasted space on longer escalators, where most people choose to wait on the right.

A third "up"' escalator will be available for people who wish to tackle the steps with more vigour, TfL said.

A previous three-week trial at Holborn in November found that standing on both sides reduced congestion by 30%.

Signs and information will be displayed around the station to encourage people to participate and prevent confusion during the six-month experiment.

They will range from the creative - a talking projection of a staff member - to the more traditional - signs on the floors, footprints on the escalator steps, handprints on the handrails and station announcements.

LU operations director Peter McNaught said: "I look forward to this new pilot starting today.

"The etiquette on London Underground is for customers to stand on the right of escalators, allowing others to walk on the left. However, few customers choose to walk on longer escalators such as Holborn, so much of the left-hand-side is unused.

"We hope that this can lead to improving congestion at Holborn, making journeys easier for all of our customers."

Holborn is one of the busiest stations on the Tube network, with more than 56 million customers each year.

The new "standing only" escalators are 23.4 metres, and research suggests few people will wish to climb heights exceeding 18.5 metres, TfL said.

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