Alice-Azania Jarvis: While in London, solidarity with Tube staff is in short supply

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The Independent Online

The French might like a strike but there was little sign of support for Tube staff on the streets of London yesterday. Last year when they walked out, I at least was one of the smug ones - I jogged into work without a care in the world. This year? I forgot my trainers.

No problem, I thought - at least the bus drivers are still working. I logged on to Transport for London and selected an hour-and-fifteen-minute route. Easy!

Expecting extra traffic, I left two hours to get from my home in east London across to The Independent offices in Kensington. But it didn't start well - three crammed buses sped past before one stopped. I squeezed on and spent 40 minutes engrossed in the paper only to look up to find we had moved just one stop. Panic ensued: Should I disembark? I didn't. Fool! An hour- and-a-half later I reached my changing point. But where was my next bus? After 30 minutes with no sign of our bus, I and a growing team of angry commuters jumped on the next vehicle that happened to be big and red.

Eventually I got to Notting Hill, changing once again. And then, finally, I was at my desk, over an hour late, apologising to my boss. I live seven miles from work. It takes an hour or so to run. I could have walked it in two. By bus, it took three-and-a-half hours. Bloody trainers.