One of the cardinal rules of being British is to stand on the right-hand side of escalators when using the London underground, to allow those in a rush to walk on the left.
But in an attempt to cut queues at Holborn tube station, Transport for London has taken a controversial step: It's allowing commuters to stand on both the left- and right-hand sides of escalators.
TfL says the trial will only be enforced during morning peak hours, not evening peak hours, at the busy station, which is used by more than 56 million passengers every year.
A TfL spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: "It's a very crowded station in the morning, people are even queuing from platform level. The trial aims to reduce that congestion."
She said that as the escalator at Holborn station is "very big" – 23.4 metres long – most people prefer to stand because they "can't be bothered" to walk up the left-hand side.
On Thursday morning, several people passing through Holborn station told BuzzFeed News they'd refuse to abide by TfL's plan.
"It's a bad idea," Vicky told BuzzFeed as she rushed off to work at Holborn. "If people want to dawdle, they can stand on the right. I won't be standing on the left."
She was not alone: A number of other commuters said they would be very upset at the prospect of people standing on the left-hand side, and some even said they would try to push past those standing.
Shalah said defiantly: "I won't stand on the left. What if people are in a rush? How will they get through? Most tourists don't know to walk on the left anyway."
John shared his thoughts on the new scheme with BuzzFeed: "It's a stupid idea."
At the station, a sign tells commuters to "stand on both sides" – but many people said they'd miss it as they walked to the exit because it's "tucked away" in the corner.
The trial, which began on Monday and will last three weeks, has shocked Londoners who travel through the station.
Another commuter added: "It's no exaggeration to say this clearly heralds the end of days."
Despite the criticism, a TfL worker at the station told BuzzFeed News the scheme has been working "surprisingly well" and said he'd "seen people standing on the left" during peak hours.
In an attempt to understand the severity of the new scheme, BuzzFeed News decided to stand on the left-hand side of the escalator at Holborn station.
Sadly, the pressure proved too much.
Will commuters continue to stand on both sides during peak hours? Will the scheme be introduced across London? Will this horror truly ever end?
Rossalyn Warren is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Rossalyn Warren at email@example.com.
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