Get us in your inbox

Oxford Circus Tube Station

Tube etiquette: Time Out readers’ ten rules for commuters

We asked our readers to offer up their golden rules for the commute. Here are the results

Written by
Time Out London contributors

Last week we brought you a comprehensive guide to tube etiquette. From standing on the right to never eating a McDonald’s, we rounded up the dos, don’ts and don’t-you-even-think-about-its of travelling on the London Underground.

However, it turns out 20 rules just aren’t enough. You guys took to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to add your own ideas to our list – and you had very strong demands! So here’s the Time Out readers’ guide to tube etiquette.

1. Take your rucksack off before boarding (via Nick Herrod)

‘Please, please take your rucksack off your back before boarding. You have no control over it and you take up twice the space. Grrr.’


2. Get your Oyster card ready (via Suzette La Pierre) 

‘Don’t wait until you are standing in front of a barrier to find your Oyster card – keep it bloody moving!’

3. Maybe do your beauty routine at home (via George Chapman)

‘I got on the Northern Line once to discover a seat covered in fingernail clippings. Don’t know why these people don’t just move in and save on rent.’

4. Never wait at the end of an escalator (via Gayle Richardson)

‘If you are organising a group of teenagers from a language school, please don’t tell them to wait at the bottom of the escalator as they tend to take it far too literally.’


5. Keep your limbs under control (via John Wolfe)

‘Have some spacial awareness! I can’t count the amount of times people have flailed their arms out in front of me, or blocked the platform as a huge group.’

6. Don’t stop in the tube doorway (via John Paton)

‘When you step onto a train don’t stop in the doorway as if you’re bewildered by all the space and possibilities. People trying to get on the train will walk into the back of you.’


7. Don’t be a phone zombie (via Erica Hocking)

‘There’s nothing more annoying than being stuck behind an ignorant self-centred twat reading their iPhone/iPad/Kindle/paper…’

8. Handrails are for hands (via Louise Pepper)

‘Don’t lean your entire body on the handrails. People need to hold on. Leaning on somebody’s hand is even worse.’

9. Don’t be an indecisive traveller (via Joe Milton)

‘The ultimate ‘enrager’ (for me anyway) is people changing their minds at the ticket barriers and veering off into your path. What’s so bad about the barrier you’re walking towards buddy?’

10. Be careful how you sit (via browser_history_nsfl)

‘You missed the people who sit cross-legged and leave their leg bouncing in the aisle so nobody can get past.’

    You may also like
    You may also like
    Bestselling Time Out offers