Rail workers and Tube drivers are set to strike in a matter of hours, leaving commuters in the capital seeking alternative options for travel.
Here is our Q&A to help your travel plans beat the strikes, and fill you in on why they’re occurring.
When are the strikes?
The strikes start at 6.30pm today, finishing at 9.30 on Thursday, however disruption is likely to run into Friday morning, London Underground has said.
What underground lines are affected?
All of them. For the first time in 13 years, the entire Tube network will shut down over the strike.
What other transport can I use?
We have a handy guide for just this question but in brief, the overground, DLR, trams, bikes, buses, river service, Emirates Air Line and taxis.
What’s the best way to find out about other travel?
In addition, Tfl has many live feeds of travel updates, on Twitter and on their main site.
Why are Tube drivers striking?
Essentially over the night Tube services, safety concerns and pay. Strikes were called after TfL and unions failed to agree a pay deal over the new services.
Mick Whelan, General Secretary of the Tube driver's union, ASLEF, said yesterday: “We believe in the Night Tube because we believe that London, which is one of the world’s greatest capital cities, deserves a 24 hour public transport service.
"But we also believe in a proper work/life balance for the drivers who are delivering that service, and that is something which TfL is failing to deliver."
Tube strikes: Ways to kill time on your commute
Tube strikes: Ways to kill time on your commute
1/10 Sam Wallace, Football Correspondent
"I still play pub cricket when I'm on A-roads. Any pub with a name that includes something with legs (eg, fox and hounds, coach and horses) you get a run per leg. Pass a pub with a name that does not reference anything with a leg and you lose a wicket. As kids we used play against each other, with the pubs divided up according to which side of the car you were on and which side of the road the pubs were."
2/10 Ibrahim Salha, SEO Editor
"Equally addictive as it is fist-bitingly difficult, Flappy Bird is so playable you’ll easily forget that you were meant to be at work the best part of three hours ago. Bonus: you’ll feel positively tranquil about the tube delays after falling to your death for the fiftieth time in a row."
3/10 Felicity Morse, social media editor
"I try and turn all the tube stations into foods: eg 'Nutting Mill Gate, Pie Street Ken, Parsons Nose'. It whets my appetite for supper/breakfast."
4/10 Kashmira Gander: Online news reporter
Dreaming of warmer climes while you’re surrounded by stressed, sweating commuters becomes a little easier with HitList. This app allows users to create a global bucket-list of potential holidays, made realistic by it only allowing you to choose from places that friends live, have visited or want to go. It then sends you alerts when airplane prices drop to an affordable level.
5/10 Stuart Henderson, Online News Editor
"I spend my time playing assorted games – Scrabble being the current favourite – intertwined with a low-level guilt that I should actually be spending my time more productively. Like reading or something."
Courtesy of EA
6/10 James Vincent: Science and Technology correspondent
"My favourite is Radiolab. Two American guys (Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich) tell a story about something. Anything. Usually with a sciencey edge, but always revealing about some unexplored aspect of life. Abumrad even got one of those MacArthur genius grants for his work…"
7/10 Joe Krishnan: Apprentice
I have a three-hour round trip each day so have to do something to keep me occupied. Here’s what I do. - Sleep: Unsurprisingly, five minutes in sleep time can be an hour in real time, so the journey goes quite fast when I’ve nodded off. - Music: Make a playlist with around 10-15 songs that you like. It’s over before you even know it, 45 mins gone just like that. Best option if you’re standing. - Watch a film: Rather much like music, you become so absorbed in the film that you forget how much time is passing. - Reading a book/magazine: As long as you don’t suffer from travel sickness, reading is best time passer. - Make conversation with a stranger? A bit of small-talk never hurts anyone, does it?
8/10 Katie Guest: Literary Editor of the Independent on Sunday
"Read a book! Penguin Shorts are good for commuting (digital short fiction, £1.99 each)"
9/10 Chloe Hamilton: Editorial Assistant
Read the Independent!
10/10 Joseph Charlton: Assistant Editor at Independent Voices
"I test myself on the order of stations on different lines. I can do the whole of Victoria and Circle (easy), Northern (High Barnet branch only). It’s quite a boring game, admittedly."
Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Underground, said: "The planned strike on London Underground from late afternoon on Wednesday 8 July will cause big disruption to the people and economy of London. It is also totally unnecessary.
"If the leaderships of the unions are serious about reaching agreement, then the only reasonable course is for them to suspend the strike, put our pay offer to their members and work with us to respond to the changing needs of London and our customers."
How many workers are striking?
What have the drivers been offered?
According to TfL:
"An average increase on basic salary of 2 per cent made up of a 1 per cent pay rise and a flat £500 increase consolidated into base pay; an increase of RPI or 1% (whichever is greater) in pay for 2016 and 2017; a £500 launch bonus to all staff on the Night Tube lines and stations; and, in addition, a £2,000 transition bonus for train operators where transitional arrangements apply."
According to ASLEF:
"This dispute is entirely the fault of TfL; they have prevaricated for months, after announcing the Night Tube, without proper negotiation, on the same day as nearly 1,000 redundancies on the London Underground.
"The suspicion is that TfL don’t really want to run the Night Tube which is why, after months of not talking to us, they only improved their offer yesterday."
What have people said about the strikes?
Boris Johnson has called them "politically motivated" and voiced disdain for the strikes, whereas some Labour MPs have supported the strikes on Twitter.
Brilliant atmosphere at Barnet UNISON today. Defending public services and jobs! pic.twitter.com/ptFHrjpCWD— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) July 8, 2015
And of course, disgruntled commuters will be making their voices heard on social media very soon.Reuse content