The Anonymous Widower

Ten Small Things That Would Improve London

As I travel around London, there are various things that would improve things, not just for me, but for everyone.

1. More Rail Ticket Collection Points

Yesterday, I went to Paddington to go to Reading by train.  I needed to pick up a ticket that I’d bought on-line. The process isn’t difficult, although it could be improved, but it would certainly help if you could pick up rail tickets in the machines at important Underground and Overground stations. This is particularly annoying, when say I go to Gatwick and need to pick up a ticket for the last leg at Clapham Junction, as I detailed here.

2. There Needs To Be More Clocks

London doesn’t have a large number of clocks and needs more. I would like to see one ion the various displays like those you see at bus stops and on the platforms at Underground stations. After all, most displays on rail stations have the time.

3. There Needs To Be More Litter Bins

London is not a city with plenty of litter bins, although clear plastic ones have started to appear in stations.

4. Chuggers Need To Be Discouraged

At the moment, the numbers of chuggers seems to have decreased.  Perhaps, they’ve all gone on their holidays for the summer. It is so much better on the streets. Or have they all gone to fleece tourists by selling timeshares in Spain?

So perhaps a permanent ban on chugging, would improve life for both Londoners and visitors!

5. Persecute Drivers, Who Don’t Obey Rule 170

I wrote about it here, where drivers don’t obey Rule 170 of the Highway Code, which relates to giving way to pedestrians at junctions.

6. Make Buses Easier To Identify At A Distance

Sometimes at places like the Angel, you can see several buses approaching, but except for the New Buses for London, they all look the same, especially, when the route numbers are obscured by a large truck or van.

As I said here, years ago, some London buses had the number at the front of the roof. Alternatively, the various companies might put flashes of colour higher up.

7. Train Direction Arrows On The Underground

This is one I’d really like to see and I talked about it here. It would mean that if you needed to get in the front or back of the train for your destination station, you could do it with ease.

8. Better Indication Of Walking And Bus Short Cuts Between Stations

Often people take the obvious route between two points and to many that is often the Underground, when it might be better to use a bus or walk.  A classic is to get from Waterloo to Liverpool Street station.  In my opinion, the best way is to use a 26 bus and it is much quicker than going on a more roundabout route by Underground.

9. More Works Of Art In Stations

There is actually a budget for this, but why don’t they use the inherently secure environment of a station to display large bronze sculptures, that are at risk of being stolen in places like parks?

10. Stop Pavement Blocking by Smokers And Drinkers Outside Pubs, Office Blocks And Stations 

There are several places I know, where smokers in particular, block the pavement and make walking past difficult. I don’t know how you’d frame a law, but perhaps councils would lay down a line, which customers must stand inside.

Obviously, with office blocks and stations, it’s up to the owners or tenants.

August 4, 2013 - Posted by | Transport, World |


  1. Litter bins disappeared after the Warrington bombs when the litter bins were used to place the bomb in. There is a general lack of litter bins everywhere I think.

    The whole smoking things drives me crazy. Because smokers are now sat at outside tables in cafes, bars and restaurants, people who don’t want to have to inhale nasty noxious smoke have to stay inside on sunny days! And often there are tables outside little greasy spoon cafes on roads with normal width pavement!

    Comment by Liz from the sewing room | August 4, 2013 | Reply

    • Agreed about the smoking and the pavement blocking!

      A lot of stations in London now use see-through bins! Hackney has lots of bins and I’ve got them probably five up my road. They’re not so common in other boroughs.

      Comment by AnonW | August 4, 2013 | Reply

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