#LondonUnderground will grind to a halt at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 5 August. The #tubestrike means that there will be no Tube all through Thursday, with services back to normal on Friday.
Yes, it’s going to disrupt your travel routine. Instead of fretting, this could be an opportunity to try an unfamiliar route and a different form of transport. Who knows, you could actually enjoy the experience.
By sea, air or land
If you’re travelling from east to west (or the other way round), to your office, take a riverboat into London. The boats sail between Canary Wharf and Putney. Arrive early, grab a coffee and glide down the Thames – you’ll get a panoramic view of London – the Houses of Parliament one minute, skyscrapers, Shard and Gherkin next – so much nicer than the underground tunnels on the Tube.
In case you’re trying to get across the water in the eastern stretches of London, there’s the Emirates Air Line cable car between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. Yes, this is more of a tourist thing and more expensive than a Tube fare, but what a fantastic chance to get an aerial view of the capital.
Most of us, however, will have to take the land route – known as the bus or train – but think laterally and you could make an adventure of the trek into work.
If you have a little flexibility in working hours, leave home or work a little later and choose a bus stop or train station that is further away or one that may not be so crowded.
Unfamiliar bus routes are a great way to discover new things – a restaurant or specialist shop, or even unknown local landmarks. Jot things down in a notebook and you can go back and investigate later. (Did you know that there’s a statue of Dick Whittington’s cat on a main bus route in North London?)
On yer bike
OK, so it’s a pain to not be able to hop onto the Tube. See the upside of cycling into work. You’ll get some exercise, burn some calories and save some money into the bargain. Plan your route to avoid difficult bits and bottlenecks. Why not see if anyone is hashtagging impromptu cycle get-togethers on Twitter and see if you can join up with other riders?
But you could also hop on a Boris bike once you get to London. There may be a rush on them, but this map will tell you where to find docking stations and whether bikes are available.
Use Shanks’ pony…
…or walk to work and back. You may even want to run, but in any case check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Maybe your usual commute takes you past one of the many Royal Parks in London. Whether you walk or run, there’s a chance to cut across some of the loveliest green places in London, now ablaze with flowers. (You’ll come upon Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens)
You’ll get to the office invigorated, save on transport costs and may even discover some fascinating bits of the city on the way. There are apps to help you to plot a route.
Stay at home
Maybe you could save yourself time and bother by working remotely. Of course, you’ll have to convince the boss – and colleagues – that you can get all the work done, just as you would in the office. Use the travel time saved to treat yourself to an indulgence, even if it’s only a glass of wine and snooze in the garden.
Whatever you do to get round the strike, here are a few tips on coping with the traffic chaos.
Allow more time for your journey. If you’re feeling virtuous you could do some work if you’re on a train and have a seat. If not, have a good book to read, listen to a new Spotify playlist, rack up points on that game on your phone, and time will fly.
Be all charged up
Wear suitable shoes
Give your feet a break – you may have long waits at platforms and bus stops, and ‘straphanging’ on trains. So pack your stilettos away and put on some comfy shoes.
Can you car pool?
Club together with colleagues and drive in to work. Or maybe a neighbour is heading in the same direction. Traffic jams could make the journey stressful, so make sure the satnav is reliable and keep up to date with news.
Keep water and snacks handy
Now, having taken all these precautions, have a good trip and tell us all about it.
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