back to article 'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport

The Queen, accompanied by a Queen's guard and gentleman in a top hat, has been drafted in to help encourage Genevans to act more courteously when boarding trains. The three actors, dressed as "quintessential" Brits, showed people how to board trams and buses in a polite and respectful manner this week, incentivising good …

  1. Baldrickk

    You mean we do something well?

    Well I never...

    1. Chemical Bob

      Re: You mean we do something well?

      Of course you do!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTartgZ6n9Q&pbjreload=10

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    racist views like this should be banned.

  3. Real Ale is Best

    They've obviously never been on the Tube...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They've obviously never been on the Tube...

      It varies.

      E.g., for a while at Canada Water, the Canary Wharf bound side of the Jubilee line formed neat queues at each door, whilst the other side formed a ghastly scrum. Now both sides form queues. But on the Overground line door-based mini-mobs still seem to be a thing.

      Whether this is good or bad depends on how much of a hurry you are in. A queue seems to result in less-packed trains and hence longer waits, but is much more civilized.

      1. Mark 110

        Re: They've obviously never been on the Tube...

        "Whether this is good or bad depends on how much of a hurry you are in. A queue seems to result in less-packed trains and hence longer waits, but is much more civilized."

        I'm 6'2" and 14 stone. If people try and get on when I'm getting off they have a low success rate.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: They've obviously never been on the Tube...

          If people try and get on when I'm getting off they have a low success rate.

          The most polite crowd I've ever been in was when I went to see the Barbarians vs Australia at the Millenium Stadium. At the time I was walking with a cane (new arthritis treatments hadn't worked) and people were opening doors for me and a couple of very large rugby-types made sure I had plenty of space to get on and off the train. One old lady even got up to offer me her seat!

          Rugby crowds - gotta love them.

      2. Chz

        Re: They've obviously never been on the Tube...

        Further to that, the recent Victoria Line upgrade to 36 TPH made a surprising difference for what, in theory, is just a couple of extra trains. Victoria station has gone from "the next one is probably in 60 seconds" to "the next one is *definitely* in 60 seconds" and the change in people's behaviour is amazing. They're much less likely to cram themselves into impossible spaces and block the doors, which means the train leaves the platform faster. Add this to the effect of the extra trains and the service runs so muhc more smoothly than it used to. Few people appreciate how a behavioural change can make the service run better.

        And yes, Londoners aren't too bad at it. It's rare to have to bulldoze someone out of the way in rush hour; it's much more likely to happen at other hours when the tourists are in full effect.

      3. Prosthetic Conscience
        Flame

        Re: They've obviously never been on the Tube...

        I've never been lucky to have to commute on the Tube (Northern Rail however...), I don't understand why people rush for the in the tube when there's a next one in 2-3 minutes (in the places I've seen this)? I'd lose my shit and dash for a rail service but the next one will be in 30 minutes and if I miss it I /will/ be late (plot twist: I'm late anyway because they'd get delayed or the autumn leaves are the wrong kind of slippery)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I can't speak for Geneva, but I can tell you that London Underground is paradise on Earth compared to the Brussels Metro. At least in terms of passenger behaviour.

      Not that the underground isn't very full, and full of wonderful odours when warm or damp. But it's rare to have your exit from the carriage blocked so that the horde just stand there staring at you expecting you to vanish in a puff of smoke, rather than just moving slightly sideways out of your way. I have once just folded my arms and stared back, I think I should have just waited until the doors closed again, because even then, nobody moved. I was tempted to employ my umbrella to make kebabs bruxellois - but instead had to physically push a couple of people out of my way. Mostly I did the "getting to the bar" lead with the shoulder and eel through the gaps technique - but it was truly pathetic.

      No escalator discipline either.

      On the other hand, you could buy fresh pain au chocolat and croissants on the platform. Dangerously tempting on the way to work. But my station was unusual in being attached to a shopping centre, most didn't have their own bakery.

      1. frobnicate

        "the horde just stand there staring at you expecting you to vanish in a puff of smoke"

        Have you tried to err... speak to them, to inform about your plans to alight?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: "the horde just stand there staring at you expecting you to vanish in a puff of smoke"

          Have you tried to err... speak to them, to inform about your plans to alight?

          Oui. Evidemment.

          Firstly this shouldn't be necessary. Mostly the Belgian Metro is half-empty. Even at the height of rush hour, it was nothing compared to London. So people standing in the open doors, facing outwards, are only there for one specific purpose. Which is to get off the bloody train.

          Secondly, it rarely made much difference. Hence the shoulder first "approaching the bar" eeling between people method. Hmmm, is eeling a real word? Anyway the couple of times I just used brute force, were particularly densely packed crowds of immobile people, who were just as good at the thousand-yard stare as any London Tube habitue.

          Take your small-town American relatives on the tube if you need a laugh. My niece, 6 at the time, assumes the right to talk to anyone - from Tower of London sentries to randon strangers on tube trains. She easily won the war between the impassive stare and the cuteness - but her Mum got very confused, being used to talking to everyone.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So to encourage good behaviour on public transport ...

    they chose the one person in the world who never uses it ?

    Hell, I've not (yet) seen W1A, but know enough that this story could come from there ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So to encourage good behaviour on public transport ...

      I caught the first ten minutes. It was nauseating, couldn't deal with it.

  5. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    I never realised that HRH was so fond of public transport, but then, I'm rarely on the Tube.

    Maybe she's more of a bus person. Do Bentley make buses?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      She used to have a Royal Train. How much more "public transport" can you get!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sorry but did they just come back from the seventies in a time machine?

    Speaking from experience the general population are unable to understand the simple concept of "if you don't let me get off you can't get on"

    Even queuing in Asda in certain areas has descended into the hustle and bustle of a third world market and yes I have been to a few.

    1. WallMeerkat

      Why is it Asda in particular that is bad for this?

      I've been to a few supermarkets during busy periods, but it always seems to be Asda that has people queueing up aisles and blocking the way for others trying to get by. It was enough to put me off going when I knew it might even be mildly busy. Do Asda have less tills / staff / queueing area compared to others?

      Otherwise I've been to Tesco when reduced fruit and veg were being brought to the end of the aisle, and people were literally climbing over each other for bags of cheap green beans. Between this and the black friday fights for crap TVs, I worry that when society inevitably crumbles soon that it will be outright anarchy. Forget your bus queues then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's the same people that go to Primark. They pick up an item, realise it's the wrong size then promptly drop it on the floor.

      2. davemcwish

        Re: Tesco reduced veg

        Sounds like @WallMeerkat's area has the wrong kind of shoppers.

        I'm my local Tesco Superstore they have a queuing system and a barriered section, albeit the flimsy kind, for the sale of reduced produce such that the row is 1 person deep. Despite this my observation suggests that this works with the regulars politely waiting till the appointed time. I suspect but can't prove that it's self-policing.

    2. Dr Who

      Yes you have been to a few what? If it's third world markets then that's fine. If it's Asdas then get yourself to the doctor. You may well have picked up an amoeba or something.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dr Who

        Third world Asdas.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > Third world Asdas.

          So Walmart in the US? (And yes, I'm an American.)

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Yes, Asda is more properly Walmart*ASDA or ASDA, Part of the Walmart Family depending on which sign the shop has up on the wall. They seem to have imported their US customers attitudes and behaviours and sold them BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) to many of their UK customers,

  7. katrinab Silver badge

    Which London is this?

    Wikipedia lists 18 places called London.

    They clearly aren't describing the one in England.

  8. frank ly

    ... dressed as "quintessential" Brits ...

    This is cultural appropriation!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... dressed as "quintessential" Brits ...

      No: This is cultural inappropriation!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: ... dressed as "quintessential" Brits ...

      I've been triggered! Who do I complain to / sue?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've been triggered! Who do I complain to / sue?

        Now I've had just about enough of your nano-aggressions...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ... dressed as "quintessential" Brits ...

        The Crown Prosecution Service of course.

        According to them, you've been the subject of a hate crime.

        http://www.cps.gov.uk/northeast/victims_and_witnesses/hate_crime/

        I think you come under the "any other person" catch all.

  9. Arctic fox
    WTF?

    I just need to ask.

    Speaking as one who was born and grew up in London, which London in which alternate universe are they talking about?

    "In London, people wait for the bus patiently and they wait for the others to get off the bus before they get up."

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Geneva have never tried to get on a bus on the Stratford Road in Birmingham.

    1. Not also known as SC
      Mushroom

      While we’re at it can I add Wolverhampton to the list where they try to board trains (and trams) before the existing passengers get off? I had the misfortune of having to commute to West Brom via the train to Wolverhampton and then tram to my final destination. I have never been anywhere else where passengers waiting on the platform push onto a train while existing passengers are still getting off. It wasn’t as if there were any vacant seats waiting to be filled because the one person wide aisle was already full of people standing or struggling to get off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good old Wolverhampton train station, one side is all Virgin rail and the future over a nice walkway then the entrance is dilapidated and looks like it hasn't been serviced since the late fifties.

        I've had the pleasure of travelling between Birmingham and Wolverhampton both ways and at various times of the day and there are no rules at rush hour it's like a hunger games with commuters vying for seats or even somewhere to stand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You get on a bus on the Stratford Rd?

      Give that person a bravery medal.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well to be fair Stratford Road is a 3rd world enclave inside Birmingham.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Geneva have never tried to get on a bus on the Stratford Road in Birmingham.

      To be fair, I suspect that Brumagen doesn't have busses big enough to fit Geneva on..

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    "quintessential" Brits, boarding a bus

    Would that be the one with the carrier bag full of Tennents super strength (or other strong lager or similar)

    Or maybe the one wielding a double buggy as a lethal weapon.

    Possibly the one muttering away to themselves (and a quick look shows they are not talking into a Bluetooth headset)

    Or the neanderthal sitting by the bleached blonde who you can tell is just hoping someone "looks at his bird" so things can all kick off

    Or maybe me, thinking "I really hate being on public transport" - and actually being polite & courteous to avoid hassle as I don't fancy GBH from some of the other passengers & would like to get to my destination without bloodshed.

    1. WallMeerkat

      Re: "quintessential" Brits, boarding a bus

      Maybe those who are annoyed because not only is the bus late again, and the queue for the next bus ended up on this bus, that the bus is a single decker for some reason despite it being a peak time busy route and having to stand while the bus bounces in and out of drain dips.

      Or that awkwardness when 2 queues for seperate buses at the same stop become one, and they arrive at the same time, half the front of the queue has to try and get to the back of the queue that is now the front of the queue for the bus at the back. Headache.

  12. Dr_N Silver badge

    Japan

    Wrong choice of country. Japanese transport etiquette would have made more sense.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Japan

      "Wrong choice of country. Japanese transport etiquette would have made more sense."

      Isn't that the place where they employ sumo wrestlers to get push people onto the train than would normally fit in the space available?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Japan

        That's probably the reality but the good folks in L.A. think it's more like this.

  13. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Pint

    Should have used our other stereotypes...

    Was she later spotted glassing someone in a bar and yelling abuse at a rival football team supporter?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: Should have used our other stereotypes...

      No. That was the Prince Philip lookalike...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bus?

    Is that the thing at the front of the traffic jam?

  15. The Nazz Silver badge

    09.30

    You lot are too busy working.

    You should try catching a bus at 09.30, the significance being that it is most often the first "free" pensioner bus of the day (even for the well off ones - prudence).

    You would be shocked at the behaviour of a group who really should know better and set a good example.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: 09.30

      It's the ones with the spikes on the sides of their zimmer frames you need to watch out for.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: 09.30

      Not after Brexit.

    3. Not also known as SC

      Re: 09.30

      @The Nazz

      Oh god I think I'm having a PTSD type flashback! I'd managed to put that out of my mind from my Birmingham student days but now the horror is coming back. Yes, the 9:30 bus really was the worst!

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 09.30

      "You should try catching a bus at 09.30, the significance being that it is most often the first "free" pensioner bus of the day (even for the well off ones - prudence).

      You would be shocked at the behaviour of a group who really should know better and set a good example."

      It always surprises me that so many people assume pensioners are all sweetness and light. Thugs, thieves and murderers get old too you know.

      1. Hazmoid
        Devil

        Re: 09.30

        Not only that but with their painful joints and swollen ankles they can be a positive menace. They've got to the age where they put up with no-one's crap and would happily pin your foot to the ground with their zimmer frame if it meant they could get the cheap meals.

    5. Mog_X

      Re: 09.30

      My wife used to be a bus driver in London (before she got better!) and called the 9:30 pensioners the 'Twerlies' , as in 'Am I too early?'

  16. Slap

    Fools Errand

    To be honest compared to most of the rest of Switzerland Geneva is a cesspit, and quite frankly would be better suited to being in France.

    So, for me, it comes as no surprise that some official would try to teach the Genevans some manners. However it’s a fools errand as their arrogance and superiority complex will ensure that no lessons will be learned from this.

    I’m also very surprised that nobody so far has shoved the actress under a moving tram/bus.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Fools Errand

      Maybe they have? The previous ten actresses in the Geneva area who actually looked like the Queen are all now lying in drawers in the local mortuary. Hence the one shown in the photograph.

  17. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Paddington Station

    About ten years ago there used to be a female station announcer with a voice that dripped honey with a soft US accent.

    Only heard her announcements twice, she was very apologetic in tone for late arrivals, but went on in some detail for the benefit of passengers trying to board the train that had arrived that they might get further if they tried letting passengers off the train first.

    Icon because I can't find my ticket.

  18. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Weird alternate reality going on here... although tonight was one of the worst where I had to literally sideways shoulder barge my way out of the carriage, nearly taking a daft bint with me who despite it being a packed train managed to forget that she had a bloody backpack on. That was just getting to the door, I then had to repeat the same to actually get from the door of the train onto the bloody platform into the half a space that we were generously permitted when getting off into the mob who were too dumb to understand "let people off before getting on".

    The previous time I had a proper train alighting incident I left a dumb passenger nearly on the floor as they insisted on trying to board, in the middle of the door space into the middle of a crowd of exiting passengers... i.e. directly into me. When you're carrying a heavy bag and stepping down onto the platform into the path of somebody stupidly trying to step on there's only one winner.

    However other than these two incidents the London ungerground is usually remarkably civilised with folk being let off and by both fellow passengers and the mob on the platforms waiting to get on.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well she's the Queen, isn't she?

    Of course people would be polite around her. And you can't help but be polite to the Scots Gard and the Monopoly Mascot.

    Let's get three people dressed as a millennial, a slow moving overweight man, and a Arsenal fan and see how polite people are around them!

    Anyone know if the actual Queen has ever ridden the Tube in her life?

    1. Long John Brass
      Holmes

      Re: Well she's the Queen, isn't she?

      Anyone know if the actual Queen has ever ridden the Tube in her life?

      Jubilee line; When she cut the ribbon; When it first opened

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well she's the Queen, isn't she?

        Jubilee line; When she cut the ribbon; When it first opened

        Doesn't count if she was riding with a bunch of dignitaries and not the hoi polloi.

    2. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Well she's the Queen, isn't she?

      "Let's get three people dressed as a millennial, a slow moving overweight man, and a Arsenal fan and see how polite people are around them!"

      Bonus points for whoever manages to trip up the overweight guy in such a way that he flattens the millenial.

  20. Hazmoid

    Maybe they should try the Singaporean MRT

    Having been there, the trains pull up in exactly the same spot each time, so that they have markings on the platform to keep the exits clear. As a tourist I accidentally stood in the middle of one and was politely reminded that I should keep to one side to allow the alighting passengers a way to clear the entrance. Some of the stations have a barrier with automatic doors that only open when the train arrives and the train door and barrier door align.

    1. M Mouse

      Re: Maybe they should try the Singaporean MRT

      "the train door and barrier door align."

      In both Ottawa (for bus stops in the central area) and underground (in one station, at least... it was quite a while ago, in May 1979) in Leningrad, there were sets of doors aligning with the doors on the transport.

      Excellent in Leningrad (though I had to just count the number of stops, as the names were rather awkward to memorize ... and fare was 2p flat rate)... though you were forbidden from taking photos inside the underground stations (presumably as the images might be used to determine how many people could shelter if there was bombing going on at the surface)...

      In Ottawa it was a little more hit and miss, as it depended on the driver. One "nice touch" for Ottawa, however, was that there were separate roadways (with traffic light intersections with normal street traffic) to allow the buses non-stop routes independent of other road usage, and perhaps safer during icy and snowy weather.

  21. joshimitsu

    On TFL Rail

    and on other mainline trains, the problem is people not using the space: most passengers are headed to Stratford or LST so leaving exit channels shouldn't be an issue, and they don't load up efficiently enough - leaving others waiting on the platform for another ten minutes.

  22. hi_robb

    Feck me

    I'll tell you what, the Queen's put on a few pounds...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Feck me

      "I'll tell you what, the Queen's put on a few pounds...", well of course, it's because of inflation

      or

      The queen is put on every £1 coin, so yeah

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