Remove the minimum requirements for the London Underground record and all in its category.

Remove the minimum requirements for the London Underground record and all in its category.

1 June 2022
Petition to
Guinness World Records
Signatures: 168Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Adham Fisher

Hello everyone.

This is a petition for Guinness World Records to make them remove the minimum requirement for the fastest time to visit every London Underground station, popularly known as the Tube Challenge. Furthermore, I want the minimum requirements for all other records in this category removed, like the New York Subway.

The London Underground record has been a popular Guinness one for decades, described as a "classic" by editor-in-chief Craig Glenday. Naturally, the system has changed over time, gaining and losing stations and track. When this has happened before, the existing record on the previous configuration is invalidated and the record reset with a clean slate. The first fastest verified time on the new configuration is the new record.

For some years, Guinness have had "minimum requirements" for new record titles; what THEY consider an appropriate target. Entry level, if you will. For example, no one yet holds the ‘fastest time to put on 10 socks’ record, but if you want to, it must be done in 20 seconds, no longer. While that relies on human ability, the Tube Challenge relies almost entirely on luck. We're at the mercy of the trains, and anything can happen. It is therefore unreasonable to put a minimum requirement on a record such as this. But that's what they have done.

The new Battersea extension opened in September 2021, I travelled to all 272 stations under Guinness rules in a time of 20 hours, 4 minutes and 10 seconds. The very same day, I had notice that the target was 16 hours, based on the previous 270-station record of 15:45:38. I submitted my evidence and was disqualified for not being quick enough.

I told them that their demands were impossible, unreasonable and naive. None of their current staff have ever at least been present to adjudicate this record, so they don't fully know what it involves. Also, we were allowed just 14 minutes to cover two new stations, the return trip to which was 17 minutes. Guinness had not consulted the timetables. Furthermore, since the New York Subway's 2017 extension, they allowed 24 hours (151 more minutes) to visit three more stations. This is inconsistent. 

But my points were ignored. Guinness said that the minimum would remain at 16 hours and they would not discuss it any further. Considering they claim to monitor records partly through "feedback from expert communities", this feels contemptuous. They have not consulted us about changes to this record before. They have tightened the rules, making it not possible to attempt for some people. And now they do not trust us to go as quickly as possible, laying down an idealistic time that is unattainable for pretty much everyone.

Additionally, when I pointed out the inconsistencies between the London and New York record allowances in June 2022, they LOWERED the New York time to 22 hours and 15 minutes, which is the current mark as of January 2023; much more difficult to achieve and impossible with a single swipe, which many traditional participants would prefer. This is beyond contemptuous.

Tube Challengers have always worked on the basis that a reset will happen every few years and many more people will attempt. Guinness seems to thrive on competition, which is at its highest when the system changes. The lower the time, the fewer Guinness attempts. This is evident with the incredible 2015 record which was basically considered unbeatable. There will be many people who dreamed of holding the record who will now have their ambition thwarted. Maybe no one will want to make Guinness attempts any more.

I want Guinness to remove the minimum requirement for the Tube record and all similar ones, and consult participants properly. I'm not that bothered if they don't accept my time as the record now. I just want to make sure it's fair for everyone else.

Thanks for reading, and I'll welcome your signature.


Also, read this similar petition: 

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Signatures: 168Next Goal: 200
Support now