The rules of etiquette have been tossed out of the window yet again as people are being asked to stand on both sides of escalators at Holborn station.
One of the busiest stations on London Underground, Holborn was the first station in the country to urge travellers to stand on both the right and left of upward-moving escalators during an experiment in November last year.
The previous test, which lasted for three weeks, showed that standing actually reduced congestion by 30 per cent – 16,220 people an hour were able to travel on the escalator during rush hour compared to the usual 12,745 when both standing and walking are allowed.
Transport for London (TfL) hopes the new standing formation, which this time will be tested for six months, will make the most of wasted space on longer escalators, where most people choose to wait on the right.
Many passengers had expressed concern at being forced to stand where previously they would have chosen to dash up the stairs, but TfL have addressed those fears ahead of this latest experiment.
A third 'up' escalator will be available for people who wish to tackle the steps with more vigour, they said.
Signs and information will be displayed around the station to encourage people to participate and prevent confusion during the six-month experiment.
They will range from the creative – a talking projection of a staff member – to the more traditional – signs on the floors, footprints on the escalator steps, handprints on the handrails and station announcements.
LU operations director Peter McNaught said: 'I look forward to this new pilot.
'The etiquette on London Underground is for customers to stand on the right of escalators, allowing others to walk on the left. However, few customers choose to walk on longer escalators such as Holborn, so much of the left-hand-side is unused.
'We hope that this can lead to improving congestion at Holborn, making journeys easier for all of our customers.'
Holborn is one of the busiest stations on the Tube network, with more than 56 million customers each year.
The new 'standing only' escalators are 23.4 metres, and research suggests few people will wish to climb heights exceeding 18.5 metres, TfL said.