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LONDON UNDERGROUND

IT’S A VERY STRANGE PLACE LONDON’S UNDERGROUND, OVERCROWDED OVERPRICED AND UNDERFUNDED, IT IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE IN THE NATIONS CAPITAL. A VAST MELTING POT WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR ALL HUMAN INTERACTIONS ABOVE GROUND BUT IN THE ENCLOSED SURROUNDINGS WHICH OFFER CONSTANTLY INTERESTING & SOMETIMES UNACCUSTOMED EPISODES IN HUMAN LIFE.

Tramps who wet themselves, flirtatious encounters with strangers who give a covert once over of your appearance then disappear at the next stop. The porno enthusiast who unashamedly scrutinises his new addition to his collection of celluloid beauties and of course at the weekend with the rugby or football supporters who insist on making their presence felt in this underworld of unspoken and accepted unawareness of others.

The Underground lines are the arteries of the city of London. The oldest Underground in the World ferries more than 1.6 million people everyday across London, though it is falling apart and in desperate need of cash. The London Underground is now so costly that it boasts the single most expensive journey in the World. The price of a single ticket for a one stop, say from Covent garden to Leicester Square is so high that it would be cheaper to travel the same distance by Concord if it where still flying of course. The pricier than a supersonic jet fare is an attempt by London Underground’s management to counter the cut in government subsidy.

The lack of investment is having considerable effect on the frame work of the underground, as we see more and more dilapidation on the Tube. The dream of Frank Pick the creator of the Underground’s cooperate identity with maps and signs etc, designed & presented the same way in each station is losing its shine. Once presented as a protective cocoon against the harsh elements of life using the painters of the avant garde to portray the Underground as uncompromisingly modern, today the Underground is struggling to impress as regular travellers get more and more frustrated with the service they are getting.

But would more money stop the crush or would a better service just increase demand? Cities have Their own gravity the bigger they are the more powerful they pull. Size creates opportunity and that’s why cities attract so many dreamers, leaders, luminaries and ordinary job seekers. The Tube maybe the arteries of London but the arteries are increasingly clogging up with humans. Like many cities today London has an ever increasing human cholesterol problem so to speak.