View Sidebar

Post Tagged with: metrolink

Can media workers walk an extra 1500 feet?

Can media workers walk an extra 1500 feet?

As part of the media megaopolis that will be MediaCity in Manchester (where the BBC and other media companies will have a rather substantial presence), there are plans by Metrolink trams to extend one section of the line by a whopping 400m, in order to ensure that commuters to MediaCity won’t have to walk too far.

When you see how close the other Metrolink stations are around Salford Quays, this will just make a farcical journey even worse. Are people really that afraid of walking these days? Even in lazy London, people will routinely *walk* between stations, so why can’t we expect Mancunians and transplanted office workers to do the same thing?

While I was around there for the weekend (before my car was rudely broken into and the PIN-locked satnav device stolen by two teenagers), I filmed a quick video to show the commute…

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Metrolink and Waterstones, you're on THE LIST

Today, I decided that I really ought to buy a book on accessibility guidelines and web usability. Eschewing the Internet bookshop options, I thought I’d venture into Manchester Central and get the book from Waterstones. I called them, and they had it in stock, so fine. The website said they were open till 7pm, so fine. Unfortunately, the Gods would conspire against me on this.

First of all was the problem of heading into Manchester. I meandered down to the local Metrolink, bought my ticket, and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, a tannoy announcement said that the line was closed but there was a railway replacement service instead. Unfortunately, it had just decided to leave when the announcement was made, and thus I had to wait a long time for the long one. Then it started to rain.

The replacement bus eventually arrived, we got on, got off at the station, waited in the rain at the station till the next tram arrived, then I got off that. And walked through the rain at Manchester city centre towards Waterstones.

To find it had been closed early for a stock-take — someone could have told me that. So I had to trudge home again, repeating my journey in the pouring rain. Having not bought anything at all. The whole trip took me three hours, all in all.

An average journey on the Metrolink…

An average journey on the Metrolink…

(whisper: What I am about to blog may lead me into trouble with the unsavoury criminal gangs of the underworld. Yet, I feel it is a story that simply must be told…)

On the Metrolink home, another guy comes in. He looks a little out of it, and to be honest, quite green around the gills. Although it could be the flourescent donkey jacket he’s wearing. He catches me looking at him, I smile back and get back to my magazine. He grabs one of those freebie newspapers, the ride goes on.

Two studenty students get on – long frizzled hair, black clothing, definitely the worst for wear for drink. Flourescent guy asks them if they want any drugs, and the conversation starts for the next few stops.

He’s Brian, with an Irish accent. He is also quite drunk. He gives them his phone number — loudly — three times, and phones home in order to arrange the deal for some weed and barbs at the next tram station. Even though the drunk students are lamely protesting that they’re trying to give it all up. He even gives them a potted biography of his life – he’s 27, got three kids by three different women. He works as a security guard at 10 quid per hour in order so the DSS can’t spot his drug dealing earnings.

My stop’s coming up – ironically, at the same stop where the deal is going to go down. But waiting at the door is a slightly dishevelled man, carrying a blue plastic bag. Said plastic bag seems to be full of some kind of liquid. Curious. Oh. It’s urine. and it’s starting to leak.

Thankfully the doors open and we all rush out. Brian and his new best friends are still at the tram stop, waiting for someone to pop round.

I’ve got no particular objection to people selling or buying drugs, but at least pretend it’s slightly illegal.

%d bloggers like this: