How to get a 4.0 in London Underground etiquette

Ian R. McGregor; London, England
Ian R. McGregor/File
Ian R. McGregor; London, England

Sticky, sweating bodies pressed together, a sea of red angry faces greet me and a calm voice tells me to “mind the gap”, what hell have I come back to? This is my least favourite part of the week – the Monday morning commute. If you are thinking of visiting London, my one golden nugget of advice would be to avoid rush hour tube.

It’s not an accurate representation of Londoners, we are lovely people, but the tube changes us. It brings out the worst in us, we become anonymous in the group mentality, as the steel cylinder pelts us toward the rat race and the career ladders.

However, if you do decide to use the London Underground, which I strongly suggest you do because it’s the best public transport system in the world, here is the necessary tube etiquette you’ll need to survive.

Allow everyone off the carriage before boarding

Don’t be that guy who goes against the current and tries to sneak in to get a seat – you suck!

Move down the carriage

It seems obvious, but some people are too wrapped up in their iPods and gadgets to think about anyone else.

Don’t push

There’s another train in 2 minutes – you don’t need to push.

Don’t talk on your phone

Assume library rules on the tube; no smelly food, and not chit chat – everyone is listening and everyone thinks you’re a bellend.

Take your Evening Standard off the tube with you

No one likes a litterbug.

Have your oyster card ready when you get to the barriers

You are an obvious nube if you have a pink ticket or your oysters not easily accessible: amateurs.

Please hit me up if you ever come to London. I’d be happy to show you in person my tube and bus etiquette.

Peace, love, clog, London.

India Clare chronicles her overseas adventures this summer. Contact India Clare at [email protected].

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