McGuinness on…take a walk on the wild side

Posted on February 3, 2011


I’ve been following a thread on District Dave’s forum and I’m growing increasingly concerned that we may be trying to live underground, or may be scared of what lies above.

The posts initially enquire about the Waterloo and City line.

My own thoughts, as I’ve said time and again, are that it serves far more of a purpose than I’d previously understood prior to Deanne, and then myself, migrating to south of the river. It operates only during periods of realistic demand for transit between the two stations, and in its simplicity is its beauty and its value.

Why would you want to pass up on a view like this...

If people need to go beyond these two stations, get off and walk to the next line. We cannot expect tubes to take us all the way to where we need to be in the same way that we cannot expect to drive to the fifth floor of the building in which we work or study. Or pass the time.

...For this? Westminster-Waterloo is a boring route beneath the Thames

This week my colleagues and I went to Parliament. As usual, I got the ‘big’ train up to Waterloo, where I waited for them. We’d agreed to walk over the river as it offered us a chance to see the city at a time that ordinarily we would have missed, stuffed underground on the Jubilee Line and missing out on the wonderful architecture and the real life taking place in our beloved capital.

So many landmarks, so little time. And to be fair, I for one could have done with the exercise rather than having the train take me all the way.

I understand it’s not for everyone. Waterloo to Westminster is a 12-15 minute walk at a good pace, whereas it’s three minutes on the train. And if you’re genuinely in a rush then I’d advise to take the tube; it runs consistently (when the Jubilee Line is running, at least) and is only really full at the extreme peak times, although the same could be said of the entire network – if TfL are watching then I’m more than happy to take on any press office role!

But I think my point remains – we should be looking up instead of down, making the most of what we have while we have it and while we’re still able to. Let’s not bury our heads in the tube just yet. Only good things can come from seeing the world from an angle otherwise lost to the committed – or condemned – commuter.