14/12/2013

How You Can Avoid These Escalating Hazards Filmed at New St. Station

Oops-a-daisy, Maisie! You can't go anywhere these days without those pesky escalators sneaking up on you when you least expect it, can you?

I'm sure the eejits captured on film just do it to get on You've Been Framed. I'm also pretty sure that YBF's where the full CCTV footage showing the "danger of escalators" at Birmingham New Street Station on the Express & Star's website is destined for, eventually.

Rail Against the Machine

Network Rail has begun its Christmas 2013 Safety Campaign in earnest by issuing a video that depicts three numpties failing to tackle that most dangerous of obstacles: The Escalator!

Is Network Rail just poking fun? On the evidence, they have every right to. But on average, more than one person a day falls foul of these evil mechanisms. An incredible 418 "escalator escapades" have been captured on video across the UK's busiest railway stations year-to-date.

But it does seem that people are learning to spot the danger signs. This year's total number of incidents represents a drop of almost a fifth on last year, when 512 victims succumbed to these silent assassins. That's still way too many for both the rail company and, of course, the HSE, hence the heightened and radical campaign this year.

How dangerous are escalators to humans? I mean, really?

The newly-released footage shows how mischievous these mechanical monsters of modern technology can be when left unattended and unsuspecting numpties clamber aboard. As a result, there are two distinct messages we can glean from Network Rail's campaign this winter; if you're:

  1. carrying heavy shopping, use the elevators;
  2. wearing high heels, hold the hand rail.

Point two is blatantly obvious, to both seasoned and virgin travellers. But the problem is that unattended elevators tend to smell of wee, especially in December. What's more, with carriage limited to around 2,400lbs, lifts can hold no more than four Brummies at a time.

The point of note here is neither obesity nor using the elevator as a urinal. No, it's repeatedly listening to that droning Birmingham accent.

Being subject to those elongated vowels for any longer than the 10 second ride between platform and ground level has been known to turn elevators suicidal, even moreso than Marvin The Paranoid Android. That's why so many lifts at New Street Station break down, both on a mechanical and emotional level.

But back to the numpties. Rather than exit an elevator smelling of B.O. and recycled ale, inter-city shoppers would rather take their chance with an escalator fail.

That's it. Blame the beer…

Puddles of piddle in paranoid prisons aren't the only concern, it seems. It's one thing carrying too much Christmas Spirit whilst sporting Stilettos. But Network Rail allege that many incidents are caused when that particular genie is let out the bottle and finds its way into the alcohol streams of merry-making daytrippers.

But isn't that stating the obvious? Let's face it, Saturday afternoon drunks struggle to negotiate the stationery pavement, let alone an over-zealous escalator ascending toward the ozone (okay, The Pallasades) at such speed. When you've had a few, those escalators...they become a challenge, y'know?

After one too many in the Trocadero, there's a very delicate art in holding onto:

  • your balance,
  • that swift half you've purloined from said boozer,
  • and your dignity.

At least without spilling any.

If guys and gals can't go out and have a few sherberts at Christmas without having to face the swathe of dangerous escalators reportedly attacking innocent travellers, I don't know what the world's coming to.

But I am pleased to report that, to date, no numpties captured on film have been fatally wounded. Yet. But if this menace to society is left unchecked, who knows who'll be the first victim on a stairway to heaven. You have been warned; here's Network Rail with the last word:

"Everyone in this video made a full recovery. Please tread carefully!"