Noise and its effect on people around us seems to be becoming a bigger concern, especially on public transport or in public spaces.
Last week, LBC reported the incident of a woman attacked on a Tube train after asking another passenger to turn down the volume when watching a video on his mobile phone.
While intrusion into other people’s space has always been tricky on crowded Tube trains, mobile devices add the new dimension of noise to this.
What is acceptable?
What is entertaining to some people can be annoying to others. Some want to be entertained, while others want to travel in silence.
Trains on the national rail network have ‘quiet coaches’ to try to ensure those who enjoy quiet are not disturbed, but should anyone subject others to noise, whether it be music, film or TV soundtracks or loud phone conversations, that they don’t want to hear?
We think it is courteous to be considerate of others by keeping the volume down or listening through headphones.
What are your thoughts?
One of the the first things I do in the morning is take our dogs for a walk. Usually I’ll meet two or three people, sometimes five or six, either dog owners or people on their way to work. We usually say ‘good morning’ to each other or more if we have time or know each other better.
I feel I am lucky because I live in a small town and tend to know a greater proportion of the population. The local community numbers something like 12,000 whereas the London borough where I was born had some 200,000 residents at the time. Small feels friendlier, but are people just the same anywhere?
Travelling on the London Underground recently, as I stood by the doors waiting for them to open, I saw a woman on the platform drop her glove as she approached the train. As the doors opened, I said she had dropped her glove and she said “thank you”. She was flustered as she didn’t want to miss the train so I picked up the glove and handed it to her and she boarded the train. “You’re a real gentleman,” she said. It was good to help someone.
I don’t know if I am more inclined to notice such things and help as a result of living in a small community, but I believe that acts like this are beneficial anywhere. Perhaps we can feel vulnerable in a city with millions of people around us, but we are all still individuals. Taking the time for small acts of kindness can make a world of difference to people.
Someone who lives on their own could find that you are the only person they talk to on that day when you hold a door open for them or offer them your seat. It connects them with the rest of the humanity when perhaps they have been isolated by their situation.
Perhaps I look a little idiotic when I smile and say hello to strangers, a thing we do a lot in the country when out walking with our dogs, but I think it is just as beneficial in a city. And if it makes people feel better and improves their wellbeing, even better.
• Robert Zarywacz is courtesy consultant for the National Campaign for Courtesy. As well as focusing on courtesy in daily life, he believes in the importance of courtesy in business and the workplace and manages pleaseandthanks.co.uk
When you travel on public transport, it’s a much better experience when trains and buses are clean and tidy. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Vanessa Bond is the National Campaign for Courtesy’s representative for travel and transport and takes a keen interest when she is travelling. Lately she has been focusing on the amount of litter people leave on the London Underground and has been taking photos as a record.
“It annoys me intensely that people are so inconsiderate and just leave everything behind them,” says Vanessa. “One of the photos shows a can of beer left on a seat, and alcohol is banned on public transport!
“The trains always leave their depots very clean, but within minutes they become like rubbish tips. The same can be said for South West Trains that I also travel on frequently. The worst is coffee spilt all over the floor.”
What are your thoughts? Does litter spoil your experience of public transport? Do you think everyone should take their litter with them?