March 11: northern line extension

They are building the Northern Line tube extension right under my flat. I saw the plans last year and the line that connected Kennington to the new Nine Elms station west of Vauxhall went right under my corner of my building and, to add insult to injury, I live on the ground floor. The construction work has now started as all roads are dug up and signs appear hosting a raft of apologies for this and that. We apologise that you will be wading through mud for the next three years etc and etc, but don’t worry because lots of executive flats are going up and somebody’s making a lot of money out of it. That kind of thing. I have nightmares about how I’ll cope when the escalator emerges in my bathroom. How will I greet the queues of oyster card users without a ticket office? And what of signage? Will it be a case of mind the gap between my telly and that nest of tables from Argos or do I need to introduce a yellow line to keep the public at bay? I don’t want irate customers disgorging into my living room during Match of the Day. I see that at London Bridge station the chaos of the on-going works and the demands of a minister that the crisis be sorted out was countered by Transport for London with the response that staff will from now on be equipped with i-pads. Now they’ll be able to watch You Tube while coralling the public into the right pens. Nobody has learnt the lessons fom fifteen years ago when the government of the day looked to solve the education crisis in schools with the bulk ordering of computers for pupils with the result that now students can plagirize at will and teachers can tell students to get on with so-called research while they sit down and have another biscuit.

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