Users of West Ham station will have observed an attempt to segregate the directional flows of passengers recently, with barriers and arrows.
This mostly seems to work at the Jubilee / DLR end of the station. However there is no arrow at the top of the stairs to the District / H&C platforms, so the whole system falls down. A train arrives and both sides of the stairs are swamped with an avalanche of disembarking passengers, making it something of a battle to walk in the other direction up to the platforms.
Does anyone have any idea how this could be improved? There used to be "Keep left" signs (mostly completely ineffective) on some stairs (eg Barbican) but these seem to be evaporating...
It certainly doesn't work at 05.40 every morning so heaven knows what it's like during rush hour! Even if you keep with the flow diagrams there still comes a point ( top of the district stairs) where people are compelled to cross one another. There is no easy solution where there are shared stairs/escalators for each direction. Other examples are the bottom of the escalators at Bond Street Jubilee and the connection at Tottenham Court Road from Northern southbound going to the Central where you have to cross onto the northbound northern to go up the stairs and still find errant contrary Mary's. I can appreciate why Camden Town was dealt with the way it was on weekends (is it still?)
Problem here is the flow is somewhat tidal! The stairs you talk of in the am peak need three columns going down to one coming up and some people going down do so so slowly others unsurprisingly are unwilling to wait behind.
The flow around the Jubilee line bit is annoyingly indirect, however the whole station design was somewhat flawed with way too many ups and downs to get from platform to platform!!
The Olympic entrance / exit was in use for a day the other week for the Olympic test event, though I only saw two people exit my train (w/b) and use it, whilst no-one was on or near it when I came e/b)
I'm not sure what can be done (as per the original post) that will be effective. It will no doubt be awash with staff during the Olympics bringing some temporary order to what will be a busy time. But generally if one looks at Barking for example, the stairs all have "no entry" signs or green "arrow" signs actually painted at the foot/top of each stair case... but no-one takes any notice of them.
I'm even more surprised that some people use the stairs at Earls Court as seats oblivious of the problems they are causing! (I've shooed off more than one group doing that!!)
Ultimately "escalator rules" do seem to be the only ones largely complied with... so the answer to the poster is... escalators! (but they are too expensive or impractical for other reasons for many locations)