Why do people use lifts?

Warning: this is a ranty post, so if you only want sweetness and light please move along, and come back another day.

Clapham Junction lift

Clapham Junction lift

I’ve had this post brewing for a while and have finally found the time to sit down and write it. I have a (nearly) 10 month old baby, who is often in a pushchair. As we live within walking distance of a train and tube station we have chosen not to have a car, but to use public transport instead. This means I often travel on public transport with my daughter in her pushchair (I vary this with using my Ergobaby carrier).

I am delighted that our local train station, and Clapham Junction – which we go through an awful lot – both have lifts so I can get myself and the buggy around quite easily. However – here comes the rant – why, oh why, do able-bodied people, with no buggy, no disabled companion, and no luggage CHOOSE to take the lift, over walking up the modest flight of stairs??

Clapham Junction stairs

Clapham Junction stairs

Why on earth would you choose to wait for a small lift, rather than take this tiny flight of stairs? Why would you do it, when you can see that you are making parents with buggies wait for the lift to come back, as you’ve taken up valuable space in the lift FOR NO REASON.

It happens all the time, and I just don’t get it. Fair enough when there are a fair old load of stairs to be climbed. And I totally don’t mean it for anyone who has anything to carry, any disability or anything to push. But when I see people walking along the platform to get the lift I am so tempted to point them in the direction of the stairs.

Is it just me or does this wind other parents with buggies up too?

I am linking up with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Fridayย for this post. Click on the badge below to see what others are ranting about today, or join in with your own rant.



22 Responses

  1. Distressed Housewife says:

    Yes, this really bugs me too. Just lazy and selfish unless, like you say, there is good reason for it. I’ve had to wait many a time with a buggy for lifts full of people who just can’t be bothered to walk. Argh! x

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      In defence of some of the people waiting for lifts it has been pointed out to me (since writing this) that some apparently able-bodied people may not actually be able to use the stairs at all/comfortably. I suppose my biggest question is/was WHY would you wait for a tiny lift when there are just a few stairs to be climbed, and that question has now been answered in the case of some people.

  2. Karen says:

    That drives me MAD! In our shopping centre, there are two lifts, which seem to have huge queues of parents with buggies waiting for them because they are full of people with legs who choose not to use them (and there are escalators too, so it’s not that they even have to climb stairs) and it drives me insane! You’re not alone!!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      In defence of some of the people waiting for lifts it has been pointed out to me (since writing this) that some apparently able-bodied people may not actually be able to use the stairs at all/comfortably. I suppose my biggest question is/was WHY would you wait for a tiny lift when there are just a few stairs to be climbed, and that question has now been answered in the case of some people.

  3. Hi
    I used to think the same but someone who appears ablebodied isnt necessarily always able to get up those floors.
    For a year after giving birth stairs were painful for me, but an onlooker couldnt tell that just by looking at me.
    Now I have a form of arthritic disease which is an autoimmume disorder and again the stairs arent possible if I’m having a flareup. I get dirty looks as well from people and it is really upsetting. They dont know me nor my problems. Please try not to judge these people. They may have a valid reason.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Hi Sharon – thanks for pointing that out, I genuinely didn’t know that and that certainly makes sense. I suppose my post came about from wondering why on earth people would wait (and wait and wait as is often the case) for one tiny lift, when the stairs are so modest and right next door, but now I understand why. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through/are going through health-wise too. Thanks for commenting.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I forgot to say that it must be upsetting to get dirty looks when you need to use the lift – in my defence I’ve never given dirty looks to anyone using the lifts (even if it has made me rant internally) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. There are no restrictions on lift uses and you don’t know whether people have health problems that aren’t obvious and make them prefer the lifts. Or laziness; I have sometimes used the lift when I couldn’t be bothered with stairs. That said, if it was rush hour or there were lots of buggies, I probably would take the stairs. But then again now I have kids I am more ‘buggy-aware’. I might not even have noticed a buggy before unless it was right there by the lift already!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Fair enough the lifts are not restricted, but I just couldn’t understand why people would want to wait and wait when the lifts are tiny and there is a modest set of stairs next-door. It would drive me loopy having to wait around if I didn’t need to. Having said that, as I’ve mentioned in comments above, there are some apparently able-bodied people who may need to use the lifts without it being obvious that they have difficulties with stairs, so I totally understand them wanting to wait around for the lifts! Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Franglaise Mummy says:

    Thank you for coming by to comment on my blog. I’m pretty sure lifts weren’t invented for me, but I can tell you that when you have a 15kg pushchair with an 8kg baby inside it then you get to be pretty grateful for them ๐Ÿ™‚ As an aside I wouldn’t class myself as a lazy mum as I tend to walk wherever I can if it’ll take me less than 30 minutes.

  6. Franglaise Mummy says:

    Thanks again for commenting. I don’t believe having a child gives me any kind of rights although I do believe that I am lucky to have them and to experience the happiness that comes from having them, when many people who want to have them can’t. Can I assume when you talk about women “dropping kids” you mean giving birth? As otherwise women dropping kids for years would be a bit worrying, and would possibly result in a vast amount of injured children! I do use the stairs whenever I don’t have the pushchair (even if I am carrying my aforementioned 8kg baby in a sling), but it’s not overly practical getting a pushchair up and down stairs unfortunately. Thanks for calling me Princess too – 37 years on this earth and it’s the first time I’ve ever been called that ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Franglaise Mummy says:

    Wow! I didn’t expect this subject to interest anyone, I just wanted to rant about it. And I’m so glad I did, because I honestly didn’t realise that there may be apparently able-bodied people out there using lifts because they can’t use the stairs at all or comfortably. Thanks for sharing that information (in the comments here or on Facebook/Twitter), now I know why some people use the lifts, which was my original question ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mummy Barrow says:

    I do it because I get out of breath and I hate sounding like I am going to die when I get to the top.

    I always walk down stairs, but get the lift up

  9. Karen says:

    Oh gosh, I think you’ve been trolled, actually. Whilst yes, there are people who have health conditions that you can’t “see” that would make stairs difficult, I would like to bet that a large number of lift users don’t. I had two perfectly healthy boys, taking up space in a teeny lift last week, and I had to fight to get in, and they happen to live near me and I’ve seen them running round playing football and climbing trees, so I think they could have climbed a flight of stairs or two?

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I think you might be right about the troll ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m sure that not all the lift users “need” to use the lift. I think the problem is the default is to use the lift. It does make me laugh when people use lifts everywhere and then go to the gym to get fit.

  10. JudyM says:

    I really admire all Mums who have to negotiate their way around the London transport system… And yes, the apparently fit people using the lifts must be galling. Same as the strapping chaps with a teeny wheely suitcase tripping everyone up. ‘Pick it up and CARRY it!’ was always my little rant. Until it was pointed out to me that maybe that person had a severe back problem and couldn’t carry it. Lesson learned: not ALL problems are visible. But that doesn’t alter the fact that there will also be people in the lifts who could easily use the stairs. Maybe a calorie counter poster showing the effects of using each would be effective?!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Not a bad idea that. I think that people often don’t think twice about using the lift, which is a real shame in the very sedentary world we now live in.

  11. I try and use the stairs except when my asthma puffs me out x

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