‘It’s really not fair that a few thoughtless ‘jumpers’ cause such disruption for so many,’ said a TfL spokesman. ‘From now on we’ll be asking the suicidal to travel to Amersham and wait in line for their turn. They’ll know it’s their moment in the headlights when they hear our special announcement – ‘Don’t mind the gap’.’
Details of the scheme were unveiled a day after ex-psychiatric patient John Morton, who had suffered depression since losing his wife and daughter in a road accident, was forced to apologise for causing almost 25 minutes of rush-hour travel chaos after his botched attempt to throw himself under a train. ‘Thankfully I glanced off the train and was thrown clear,’ he said. ‘If I’d ended up on the tracks the hold-ups could’ve been well over an hour.’
Despite the scheme intending to make it easier for people to kill themselves considerately, one early user was critical of TfL’s service. ‘They could have picked somewhere a bit more accessible,’ complained recent divorcee Norman Price. ‘There’s only one train to Amersham every three hours. After wasting the best part of two hours hanging around I thought ‘ah, what’s the use’ and I decided to end it all and go home.’
TfL is now rolling out a poster campaign at suicide hotspots, ‘Don’t be selfish, top yourself at Amersham’. They have also taken the opportunity to remind potential jumpers to put enough credit on their Oystercard to cover a single to Zone Six, or their next of kin will be invoiced before the body can be returned.
By Corrigan, steve_l and Des and Stan, with a hat-tip to Oxbridge