I'm really interested in hearing your experiences of late night travel on the TFL network, both positive and negative. I'm a student at Loughborough University, carrying out a research project looking into creating a safer experience or environment during after hours travel. I'd love to hear your observations, and maybe get some discussions going.
(I've attached a URL of the formal information sheets if you're interested)
my experience of late night transport has been fairly positive, no less so than any other aspect of city life.
a couple of negative experiences have been self inflicted, namely falling asleep and ending up at the end of the line, but thats my own fault and resulted in nothing more than a shivery wait for the return bus
the usual unwritten laws of interacting in a big city at night apply to transport: avoid eye contact, keep yourself to yourself and maintain a fairly judgemental attitude to potential crazies and troublemakers in order to keep out of their way. And never act like you aren't fully in charge and aware of where you are and where you are going. For me a nightbus is no more intimating than say Leicester Square or shaftsbury avenue at 2am...not exactly utopia but perfectly navigable
that said im well aware that as a 30 year old tall white male, im less likely than others to be targeted or having something unpleasant happen to me, so its not going to be the same for all.
Thanks for getting back to me, it's interesting that you say about the potential intimidation factor, although you yourself don't find it intimidating. Within crime statistics fear can play a large factor, with research proving that fear of crime doesn't correlate with actual crime levels.
Just asked my daughter, she often gets a night bus home from Brixton where her friends live, her reply was: "just look miserable" she's quite good at that, she went on to say that always move to another part of the bus if you feel uncomfortable, head phones on.
During weekends I usually come back home using night buses. That's one of the reasons why I love living in Elephant, there are plenty of connections. I am italian and I used to live few years in Milan, they introduced the night bus service only in 2011, and it was quite bad: nobody was checking for tickets, once I remember taking a night bus and there was a "gang" of teenagers smoking inside the bus and acting aggressively. I never had this sensation in London: there are cameras and usually people tend to behave. At night it's quite frequent to find drunk or high people, but I never had any problem with anyone. It happens to fall asleep (that's why now I am trying
to avoid sitting down) but nobody tried to rob me. Of course, using common sense it's always a good practice, but overall I am happy with the service and the average safeness. The bad part comes when you have to change, if you are unlucky it can takes 20-30 minutes, and you even have to pay twice.