The tube’s getting better – proof

Published on 20 April 2009 in , , , , ,

Is the tube actually getting better? More reliable? Less problematic?

Every time you get stuck in a tunnel, the tuts and sighs come out like nothing has changed. So I guess most people would say no.

And if you were to say the Northern Line had improved, people would laugh at you hysterically.

But there’s one metric I regularly use to see how well the tube is doing performance wise.

It’s the number of Customer Charter refund vouchers I’ve amassed over the previous year.

If your tube journey is more than 15 minutes late due to unplanned reasons (i.e. not caused by engineering work), you can claim for a refund. You fill in a form – paper or online – and they send you a voucher back which is the full cash fare for your journey.

It’s like free money and all you have to do is be delayed getting to or from somewhere!

Now I’m pretty fastidious when it comes to filling in those forms. And every year when I go and get my new annual Travelcard, I pick up my haul of vouchers and head off to the ticket office where I ceremonially present them in exchange for a reduction in the cost of my Travelcard and the joy of watching the dude in the ticket office stamp lots of things.

I use three different tube lines each day – Central, Victoria and Northern – so there’s good scope for things to go wrong. Most years I have a pretty good haul. Usually comes in at around £30 or so – last years was nearly £40. That’s a lot of delays.

This year however… well it was pathetic. Just two vouchers worth a measly £8.

Now tell me all those closures and engineering work isn’t making a difference…


  • Kirk says:

    So. How did it go today then?

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Grr. Bloomin’ Bob Crow… I mean they’re getting new trains on the Victoria Line anyway which will have all the safety features they want. Why on earth now, all of a sudden, demand it to be put on old trains that will soon be going out of service?
    There’s an agenda here – and it’s not safety.