Escalators – whether you love them for their practicality or loathe them for being a tool for the lazy, they’re everywhere. And you can guarantee that if any country will have a rule about how to use moving steps, it’s us Brits. So here are some golden rules to escalator etiquette:
1. Stand on the right
Imagine the humble escalator as a motorway. The slow-lane is on the right-hand side of an escalator, for those who are happy to stand. The left-hand side is the fast lane for people to walk (or run) up, if they’re in a hurry. However, this may be about to change in London, as a handful of tube stations are testing whether they can ease congestion by making people stand on both sides of the escalator!
2. Keep your luggage close
Got a wheeled suitcase or a big bag? Make sure it sticks to the right-hand side too – and give yourself enough space to walk off swiftly at the other end. The last thing you want is someone crashing into your bags.
3. Leave one step between you and the person in front
Do leave one step between you and the person in front if you can. We know this is a rare occasion and you are more likely to be packed in like sardines. And that’s when the sideway rules applies and definitely no rummaging around in your bag.
4. Let buggies on first
Even though everyone is in a mad rush to get somewhere there is a level of courtesy afforded to people with children in buggies. The general rule is if you get to the foot of the escalator first you should gesture for them to get on.
5. People watching
It is OK to check out people on the opposite side of the escalator but do it discreetly and never, ever shout anything out!
If you stick to these simple rules, you’ll find travelling about a little less stressful. The last thing you want is to encounter the wrath of a passive-aggressive Brit on a moving staircase!