SO. HOW ABOUT THAT TUBE STRIKE? Don’t live in London? LUCKY YOU! Tonight, and until Friday morning, the city is going to be thrown into chaos; the most destructive Tube strike in over ten years is set to go ahead, and we’re all screwed. TfL have advised for all Underground journeys to be completed by 18:00 hours today, because at that time, the Underground will shut down. We suppose that means that stations will be closed long in advance to accommodate this, and so commuters aren’t stuck INSIDE TRAINS come six pm. My concern: how will the Tube drivers get home once they’re at their final destination? Spare a thought for them.
In any case, we’re now preparing for our alternate journeys home tonight, and back into work tomorrow, and trying to figure out the best ways to get from TT Towers in North London to our homes in various outer ‘burbs without using the tube. Without further ado, the Top 5 Ways to Avoid a Tube Strike:
1. The Bus
For the low, low price of £1.50, you can have the following experiences: You can board the vehicle at more than one door; front, middle or back. You decide! You can “drive the bus”; if you’re really quick, you can secure that coveted top-deck-front-of-the-bus seat. The dream! You can access the Internet(!); you can make calls, return emails, and join in all those important Twitter chats while commuting home. You can be a tourist in your own town; views that aren’t visible from below ground, are totally visible from above ground. You can thank the Driver; let the inner-Northerner in you out, and say a warm “thank you” to the person saving you the walk. Pleasant! It’s zone less! You can travel one stop or one hundred stops for the same, damn, price. BARGAIN! You can travel at any time of day; 24 hour busses, wuuuuuuuut! YOU CAN TRAVEL GREEN; the new Routemasters are totally (are they though?) healthy for the environment, and so you can feel good about reducing that carbon footprint. Naw, feels.
For the price of a coffee, you can experience the following: Exercise. Fresh air and sunshine. No traffic jams. You can go IN TO THE PARKS; think of all the short cuts! You can be That Guy who cycles to work, and comes in really sweaty but totally energised without a coffee. You can get cash back if you use the right credit card to rent the bike. You’ll be tired-er after a cycle, so bound to sleep better too. You’ll help save the planet. Planet feels, nawww. And well, they’re red now, and we all know red things go faster, so you’re more likely to get home quicker than the rest of us. They don’t come with helmets though, so do be careful out there.
3. Emirates Air Line
Need to get from one side of the river to the other really quickly? This is the transport for you. Sure, it’s not cheap, or safe, or very fun, but hey – they’re not striking, so it’s an option.
4. The Clipper
BOATS! The wildlife options on the river are endless. Remember the time there was a dolphin in the river? No, me either, but apparently it happened. If you don’t like walking across bridges, then the clipper is the answer for you. Or Duck Bus. Or a hovercraft. Or a canal boat, row boat, or pedal-o. The water-crossing options are vast, we would just say this: DO NOT SWIM.
5. The Overground
Waaaaheeey! The Ginger Line! The East London Express! All the names! It’s the newest of the lines on the Underground Network, and my personal fave. It’s air conditioned in the summer, and warmed in the winter, and it very, very rarely runs smoothly BUT – in the event of a London Underground Strike, it operates an extra service. Why? Because privatisation! Because it’s not operated BY Transport for London (much like the beloved DLR), it is unaffected by (some of) the Union actions. As great as it is that the Overground IS STILL RUNNING during this strike, it’s only really helpful if you live AND work around the outside of London, as the lines don’t really come IN TO London. So, you can get close, but not too close. There’s still a walk or cycle or bus part of the way, but we like to remember the fact that the Overground can SOMETIMES be wonderful.
So, that’s us this afternoon. Has the strike disrupted your life at all? TfL are life ruiners; they ruin people’s lives (JKS. We love you. Come back when you’re ready).