Customers at Holborn station will be asked to stand on both sides of two ‘up’ escalators, in plans announced at the end of last week to reduce congestion at the station.
This is place of the usual method where passengers are asked to stand on the right to allow free passage to those who want to walk up or down on the left.
From 18 April the new arrangements will be in place for around six months, with a range of signage and customer information encouraging people to fill up the escalators by standing on both sides. The other ‘up’ escalator will still be available for people who want to walk.
A variety of messages, developed with the help of the behavioural science department at the London School of Economics, will be tested at different times to see which work best. These include standard instructions to customers and ‘light’ messages that play on words about standing.
These will be communicated in various ways, including using a talking projection of a staff member, electronic versions of the triangular ‘stand on the right’ signs that customers pass as they travel up the escalator, signs on the floors, foot prints on the escalator steps, handprints on the handrails and station announcements.
Peter McNaught, Operations Director at London Underground, said: ‘It may not seem right that you can go quicker by standing still, but our experiments at Holborn have proved that it can be true. This new pilot will help us find out if we can influence customers to stand on both sides in the long term, using just signage and information.
‘Anyone who wants to walk on the other escalators will be free to do so, but we hope that with record numbers using the Tube, customers will enjoy being part of this experiment to find the most efficient ways of getting around.’
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