A sign is a failure, but…

10 November 2014

Stepping off the train at Birmingham New Street you are walking into a live, large building site. However, the signs are no better than they ever were. You simply cannot see how to get out other than by following the other crowds milling around. At the concourse level, primitive information systems struggle to get people to the right platforms. The jazzy touchscreen information boards were out of action this week. Two escalators out of action but no staff around to help with luggage. Beyond the usually unmanned gate line none are visible. The signs are poor.

My wife, who practised as an architect, is fond of saying that a sign is a failure. It should be obvious where you go. However, in the absence of any sense of where to go at New Street some better signs and some staff around would help.

Following earlier blogs about London Bridge we need to do better at station signs, especially when major rebuilding is going on. While the end result will no doubt be shiny and totally intuitive in the meantime us passengers need some help and are paying the same price for a much worse environment.


We’re going back to New Street later this week on our way to our conference on longer-distance journeys and public Board meeting.  Click here for an open invite.

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