Any traveller in London quickly learns the law of the underground, particularly when it comes to the escalator. There’s no mercy for Australians that are accustomed to standing on the left.
But this protocol is about to change and the locals are not happy.
Under a six-month trial at Holborn station in central London, standing only escalators will be enforced. This controversial new move by Transport for London (TFL) replaces the traditional method that involves commuters standing single file to the right, making way for anyone walking up the left hand side.
TFL hopes that this new rule will make better use of wasted space as most people choose to stand and wait on the right hand side.
A previous three-week trial found that this kind of escalator etiquette reduced congestion by 30 per cent.
Here is what the locals have to say:
“Asking people to stand on the left goes against everything British. Plus we can’t shout at tourists anymore,” @captainboo tweeted.
“We took a step back today as a nation, standing on the right hand side of the escalator is what made Great Britain Great ... #Holborn,” says @alexsmith321.
@Joshdaghir tweeted: "Current status at Holborn: no one following the new stand-on-both-sides initiative. Would've figured as much."
London Underground operations director Peter McNaught said he looked forward to the new pilot trial.
“We hope that this can lead to improving congestion at Holborn, making journeys easier for all of our customers.”
This article originally appeared on 7travel.com.au.