London

Tube strike: 14 ways to overcome it

  • 28 April 2014
  • From the section London
Pimlico Station locked up during in 2010 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Tube strike will bring severe disruption - but all is not lost

A Tube workers' strike - in protest at ticket office closures and the lost of 960 jobs - is set to severely disrupt the lives of Londoners and visitors to the capital for 48 hours from 21:00 BST. But the city can still be navigated - here are 14 ways to get around London without using the Tube.

1. Get the low down

You can get regular travel updates from the BBC London 94.9 travel team. You can also follow any disruption on the award-winning BBC London travel Twitter feed or on the BBC London Travel Page. And, of course, BBC London's Local Live service will be pulling much of this information together.

Image caption BBC London travel reporter Billy Reeves: knows all and sees all

2. Catch the bus

Anybody seen in a bus over the age of 30 has been a failure in life, said somebody, although exactly who remains a matter of dispute. However, we can all agree the maxim does not apply on Tube strike day. Some 100 extra bus services will be provided on key routes. And make sure your pay-as-you-go Oyster card is topped up as a number of routes do not take cash.

Image copyright PA
Image caption This is what queuing for the bus because of a Tube strike was like in 1996

3. Ride a bike

Contrary to what some believe, the chances of anything awful happening to you on two wheels are relatively small, even in London. Transport for London is urging people to ride a bike. But be warned, during past Tube strikes, the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme has proved very popular.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Commuters are being told casual clothing is also an option when riding to work

4. Don't go to the office

You could "work" from home (pot of tea, long bath, annoying the cat with your unexpected presence). Perhaps tell your boss that you are actually "more productive" at home and cite the London School of Economics to back up what some might consider a rather iffy assertion.

Image caption The benefits of working from home have been rigorously debated

5. Catch the Tube

Transport for London says it hopes to run some services. In the past, parts of some lines have stayed open, due to staff not being members of unions. Whether or not this transpires remains to be seen, but look for updates on the day.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Some Tubes have ended up running in the past

6. Fly - sort of

The Emirates Air Line - a cable car which connects the Greenwich Peninsular and the Royal Docks - will be open as usual and London Underground tickets will be accepted on its services. So, if you have a travelcard (they are not normally accepted on the cable car) and you just fancy checking out the view, it's a good day to go.

Image copyright PA
Image caption If you have a travel card the cable car between north and south London will not cost any more

7. Grab a taxi

A marshalled taxi service will operate at eight rail stations: Euston, Waterloo, Liverpool St, London Bridge, King's Cross, Victoria, Charing Cross, and Marylebone. The marshals will manage taxi and passenger queues and provide advice and assistance to taxi passengers. All black cabs have to be tall enough to accommodate a passenger wearing a bowler hat.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Don't worry if you're wearing a bowler hat - all black cabs must be tall enough to let you sit down while wearing one

8. Stay with a friend

If you work in central London and happen to be friendly with any oligarchs, why not stay with them the night before to avoid the journey completely?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The journey around London is likely to be fraught with pitfalls

9. London Overground

Transport for London says Overground services will continue as normal. However, stations where there is an interchange with London Underground may be affected. The Overground travels through 21 of London's 33 boroughs, and 30% of all Londoners are within a 15-minute walk of a station.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Overground stations are also expected to be busy

10. Take to the water

Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames, Fair winding up to where the Muses haunt, wrote 18th century poet James Thompson. London is home to one of the world's most famous rivers, so why not use it? Enhanced river services will be in place for the duration of the strike.

Image caption Boats will depart every 10 to 15 minutes

11. Use a map

Transport for London says walking "may be an option" for shorter journeys. You might not be aware how close your destination actually is having never gone there except by Tube - apparently 30% of Londoners take longer routes than they need to because distances are misrepresented on the Tube map.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Objects may be closer than they appear

12. Docklands Light Railway

A normal service will operate but, as with the Overground, stations where there is an interchange with London Underground may be affected by the strike. More than half a billion journeys have been made on the the DLR since it opened in 1987. Curiously, one of the stations is called Mudchute.

Image caption More than half a billion journeys have been made on the DLR

13. Take a good book, make sure your tablets, phones and e-readers are charged

Let's face it, the chances are you will face some delays. So it could be the perfect opportunity for you to finish that book, get your best ever Candy Crush score or do some online shopping.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption You may wish to share your reading material with fellow delayed passengers

14. Move out of London

For all of its charms, and although it somehow muddles along, the capital city is in many ways a very testing place to live.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fancy living in New York, Paris or Tokyo?

The 48-hour strike is due to begin at 21:00 GMT on 28 April. The second 72-hour strike is planned to start at 21:00 GMT on 5 May.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites