The travel chaos, described by the RMT as “life-threatening”, was caused when Network Rail services were delayed when a person was hit by a train near Streatham Common.
The crush looked and sounded truly terrifying. I feel for anyone who was caught up in it, especially anyone who was unwell, disabled, or vulnerable in any way. This goes way beyond normal commuter misery.
But am I the only one who cheered when they saw passengers vaulting the barriers?
You’d be hard pushed to work and live in London for any length of time and never suffer a transport failure.
Who hasn’t stood waiting for a train that feels like it’s never coming? Who hasn’t slowly shuffled behind a stubborn mass of people and felt like they will never get home? Who hasn’t squashed, squeezed, and physically compromised themselves to fit onto a Tube to get to work?
Using public transport offers daily irritations and humiliations. Those hurdlers, those commando crawlers, were escaping real jeopardy, but they looked like they were ditching the rat race.
The photos could be stills from the film Falling Down in which Michael Douglas cracks at the frustrations of contemporary urban living.
Right here in London those commuters jumped. They ran. They broke free. They made it.
The movie’s title is taken from the nursery rhyme London Bridge Is Falling Down.
In the photographs taken within the station named after that bridge, you can glimpse the rebellious worker in us all.
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