It’s the biggest strike on the London Underground for thirteen years. It has been characterised by angry tweets, long queues and unhappy commuter faces. We decided to see if it was true and went about our daily commute in a rickshaw.
Watch the video below to see our bumpy ride.
We began at 7:30am in Kennington and to our surprise – little had changed. Where was all the doom and gloom? The heavy congestion, the queues, the backlog of buses… Instead, it was a fine and breezy morning in South London and the only problem we experienced was of our making – negotiating the bouncy journey.
8:00am and we’ve hit Vauxhall. Expectant of long queues at the coach station, we immediately headed there but everything appeared fairly stable. The queues were longish but nothing to be shocked by on a morning commute - had London finally dealt with a transport problem? Years of failure from dealing with a couple of inches of snow to handling union disputes - would this time be different?
Our answer came in the next ten minutes as we set off to Victoria. The breeze soon disappeared, replaced by the familiar smog of buses, taxis and cars - the big winners today being Uber with price surges of up to 300%.
As we hopped out of the rickshaw at Victoria station, the impact of the tube strike became clear with queues for buses snaking round the station corner. And here we finally found what we came for - unhappy commuter faces.
A noteworthy change today was the greater number of pedestrians and cyclists. Aided by the lovely weather, commuters did not miss the sweaty tube in exchange for a refreshing morning walk. If it had rained today, the angry tweets would’ve been more palpable.
But with normal service resuming until tomorrow morning, we’re not holding our breath just yet.
Special thanks to Quintessentially Foundation and the Elephant Family; and Patrick Mavros.
'Patrick Mavros has created this safari themed rickshaw in support of the #travelstomyelephant campaign set up by The Elephant Family to raise money for the Asian Elephants'Reuse content