Technology

Why do you walk on the wrong side of the corridor in Tube stations?

A typographer would say it’s because the “Please walk on the right” signs don’t use a clear enough font.

An ad man would say it’s because there aren’t enough adverts in the station reminding you.

A sociologist would say it’s because you just follow the person in front.

An architect would say it’s because the design means sometimes you have to walk on the right but sometimes on the left.

A consumer PR person would say it’s because you haven’t seen enough celebrities walking on the correct side.

An economist would say it’s because there’s no market in corridor space.

An ergonomics expert would say it’s because the corridors and floors don’t give you any visual cues.

An educationalist would say it’s because you weren’t taught to walk neatly in the corridors at school.

A word of mouth expert would say it’s because no-one has spoken to you about it.

A historian would say it’s because people have always walked on the wrong side.

An ex-Home Office minister would say it’s because it’s not against the law.

A behavioural economist would say it’s because you haven’t been primed right.

The Daily Mail would say it’s because Britain is broken.

But really it’s for all these reasons, and to fix the one problem you have to understand them all.

 

Note: this issue features further in the chapter I’ve contributed to Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals.

8 responses to “Why do you walk on the wrong side of the corridor in Tube stations?”

  1. A person with half a brain would say it’s because we drive on the left, and therefore the tube’s injunction to walk on the right is nonsensical to anyone who has been imbued with British culture for any length of time (most of us spend a hell of a lot more time in cars/on buses than we do on the Tube) and that’s why people ignore it.

  2. “A behavioural economist would say it’s because you haven’t been primed right.”

    Or because you’ve been primed left.

    But .. while every one else drives on the left, and I cycle on the left, pedestrians walking on the road (country roads etc) should be on the right.

    For me though, the rule at school was ‘walk on the left.’ We’d get told off if we didn’t.

    Curious inconsistency: British Rail is leftist as well. Bristol Temple Meads .. all the stairs are marked for up and down meaning you walk on the left.

  3. is that mean in order to make a qualified business decision you’d have to do research on all of above? and of course understand N adjust them.

    I found this is interesting coz my first year accounting lecturer told us, when come to the profit figure, accounting people ask: what you want it to be, boss? markteing: it always could be much higher than the real figure. and I forgot the rest…

    it is such a good way to learn anyway

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