The next train terminates here…

13 Jul

On public transport in London anything can become a “problem” if you use the right language. Leaves on the line, the wrong kind of rain, I’m-running-late-so-I’m-going-to-pretend-the-central-line-was-delayed.

I no longer have any of these excuses and I kind of miss them because when things go wrong on the roads here (the nearest train station is 12 miles away), it’s generally pretty grim.

One of the consequences of living in a small seaside town and working as a journalist is that I now drive far and wide in search 0f a high speed broadband connection and an ISDN line.

The timing of the morning journey is crucial. Too early and the farm traffic is king of the road, too late and the masses are already tailgating each other along the M271. 

Each commuter has an individual sweet spot, that perfect moment in which they can slip seamlessly into the stream of fellow rat-racers without annoying anyone.

Mine is a mildly horrifying 6.27am. The one factor this does not take into account is the likelihood of an accident, which I learned this morning is suprisingly high even at this almost ungodly hour.

When I first started doing the journey one of the local folk warned me of the dangers of Rufus Stone. This little cranny sounds more like a plucky Dickensian orphan than a notorious blackspot, I thought, and as a beautifully unspoiled part of the New Forest, all moorland and heather and tall trees, it certainly doesn’t look like one (unless you’re counting roadkill – actually it’s best not to do that around here).

This morning Rufus Stone was heavy with rush hour smog and brake lights as a lorry had decided to half-leave the dual carriage way, effectively blocking one lane. I’d only just made it past that when the next casualty loomed in front of me – an infeasibly battered vehicle surrounded by police and a fire engine.

I found myself fretting about the lack of ambulance, and hoping that I’d missed it rather than it not bothering to rush because it was all too late.

I was surprised that I felt more distressed than irritated (it’s only partially an urban myth that Londoners tut over the timing of those who choose the rush hour to jump under commuter trains) – maybe I’m almost human after all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: