Mind the Gap
Mind the Gap? No you Wont!
The phrase “Mind the gap” was coined around 1968 for a planned automated announcement after it had become impractical for drivers and station attendants to warn passengers of the “gap” between the train and the tube platform. The Underground chose this short phrase because it was easier to write on the platform and cheap to record.
Basically, you’ll hear an amplified voice saying, “Mind the gap” upon entering and exiting the train. No one wants you to fall into the gap. You’d think the space was as large as an icy crevasse on Mt. Everest they way it’s constantly mentioned and written. It’s not. Nevertheless, you don’t want you foot or luggage to get stuck.
How is the “Gap” created? Because some platforms on the Underground are curved and the rolling stock that uses them are straight, an unsafe gap is created when a straight car stops at a curved platform.
The people at the Underground have some tips for a more pleasant tube journey. Like, don’t bring more luggage than you can carry. For starters, you don’t want it getting stuck in the gap. Second, there are no porters to assist you. The same goes for a backpack. Don’t stand on the train wearing it. Take it off!
Allow passengers to exit the train before you board. This isn’t just about the British being polite. Those getting off the train would rather not fall into the gap either. This is the safest and quickest way to get passengers on and off.
Three simple words you’ll see everywhere. And with safety at the forefront, you won’t mind “minding the gap.” Now watch your step.