London Relocation’s Moving Coach Devon Lampard writes about how the 48 hour tube strike called by RMT and TSSA unions affected her getting to work in London this morning.
In my six years in London I have been lucky enough to miss every strike that Transport for London has called. When the news of the current London Tube Strike started to flood newspapers and Transport for London journey planner updates I started thinking about how I could get to work in the least stressful manner.
My usual morning commute consists of heading to East Putney tube and heading straight to St James Park for a Bikram Yoga session en route to work. Knowing that the tubes were going to be disrupted this morning I thought it best to find an alternate solution. And good thing I did! Upon checking the Transport for London journey planner, I realised that the tubes would not be running earlier than 7am.
I found a bus that stops quite close to my flat that actually stops just a few minutes’ walk from the studio. Ordinarily, I would veto taking the bus, but that early in the morning I figured would be alright since it would be just before rush hour started. I arrived at the bus stop a few minutes early and when the bus arrived I got a seat – this is never the case on the tube and I actually made it in about 25 minutes rather than my standard 35 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to get into the studio and get organised. Great news for me!
Following my 90 minute Bikram session, I got ready for work and connected with my colleagues en route to the tube station to see where everyone was at. Kenneth was having a nightmare up in Queens Park as the Transport for London website said the Bakerloo line was in operation, when in actual fact it wasn’t, and Erin was stuck at Edgeware Road, her usual commute takes 25 minutes and today it took 1h 15 minutes. She actually had to wait for 4 trains to go by before she could get on one! This did not help my confidence for the short commute to the office.
I arrived at St James Park tube to catch the district line and to my surprise there were not too many people on the platform. The train arrived within 5 minutes and it was chock-a-block! I managed to squeeze my way onto the train, but it was close…As we approached Westminster, the conductor came on the intercom to let us know that he was unsure as to which stations were open; immediately the other passengers started getting very angry and a few began to panic as they weren’t sure where they would be able to get off. The train ended up stopping at Westminster but did not stop for Embankment, Temple or Blackfriars.
A stroke of luck for me, it stopped at Mansion House and I was able to get off and quickly make it to work not only on time but a little earlier than usual.
People of London, when there is a strike warning plan ahead and be ready for delays. If you can avoid your regular route I would strongly advise it.
Part of our Needs Assessment and planning for LR clients is to consider your daily commute as one of the factors to help you choose an apartment to rent in London. Trains, buses, cabs, bikes, and the Tube – which one will you use after you’re settled?