This morning as we pulled into Temple on the District line the doors opened at about 9.05. All of sudden there came a screaming voice from the platform that “there’s a suspect package – get off the train”. Your heart sinks and adrenaline sets in. All you want to do is get out and so does everyone else! As people are running off the cramped trains and get up the stairs into the ticket hall you find a queue as people are needing to swipe their Oyster cards to get out! I shouted at the woman to open the gets. She couldn’t she replied as she was “waiting to find out what was going on”. I don’t think I have ever been so angry - and to be fair she also looked panicked.
Three questions I’m sure we all want to know:
1. What the hell do TfL staff “need to find out what is going on” for? People were desperate to get out.
2. We are all told to be vigilant but surely TfL need to up their game?
3. Why does TfL delay the evacuation of a station? Clearly there was a problem!
It seems clear that the Underground staff weren't clear what procedures they should be following. Patrick Mercer has long been a powerful critic of TfL and their reluctance to update their emergency procedures since 7/7. This is further evidence that he was right.