Tube Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Travelling on the tube comes with its own do’s and don’ts on what fellow passengers expect of you. With that said, we thought we’d list our 3 do’s and 3 don’ts to help you become acquainted with the local way of doing things on the busy London Underground.

Do: Give up your Seat

Whether they are pregnant, elderly, disabled or less-able to stand, whenever you see somebody in need of a seat more so than yourself, you should offer it up and stand. It’s the polite and correct way to behave on the tube and because we are terribly British, we’ll most likely apologise whilst doing so.

Don’t: Congregate in the doorways and block the aisles

More often than not, people congregate in the doorways leaving the aisles free. Why? We are not so sure, but that’s vital space that could in-fact allow more people onto the train or make the collective group around the doorway have a more pleasant journey. As with point one, just be polite and step past people to take your place in the aisle if needs be.

Do: Be quiet and relax

One of the sacred rules of the tube which will last for generations: make sure that you do not talk or make eye contact with others. It’s a silent, unwritten, unspoken rule (unless you’re reading a do’s and don’ts article). With that said, be ready and prepared if any tourists ever ask you for directions, be nice and as a local Londoner, you’ll most likely know the route.

Don’t: Get up and walk through the aisle before the train has stopped

This is one usually targetted at tourists who are worried in case the train doors close before they can get off. Fear not, it’s usual for Londoners to not move a muscle until the train has come to a halt and the doors swing open. As long as you stand up and say excuse me, you’ll be let through, there’s no need to go on an adventure through the aisle mid-journey.

Do: Wait patiently to get through the barriers/ onto the train

There’s a train every 90 seconds on the Victoria line during peak times and with most other lines you have to wait 2 minutes for the next train. So allow everyone to get off the train before you step onto it, it’s highly frowned upon in London to get on the train before everyone is off and you may even feel the wrath of the traditional British *tut*! You can’t see we haven’t warned you!

Don’t: Wear your backpack during the journey

Most people in London carry a bag around with them filled with a work laptop, food containers and what not. The floor may not be the cleanest but you should never stand with your rucksack still on your back (especially during rush hour). You will agitate all the people around you, especially if it’s on the commute home. Keep things simple, take it off and place it between your legs, this saves space and makes the journey comfortable for you and all those around you.

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