Side Tracked: The Forgotten Strike

UPDATE 15:06pm: It is confirmed both unions have suspended strikes this week.


UPDATE 12:17pm: Shortly after publishing this, one of the unions taking part in the strike (TSSA) have agreed to call off the walk-out planned for 21:30 tonight. It is unclear at the moment whether RMT have also agreed to call off their strike. If they have – it is almost certain the bellow Revenue Strike will also not go ahead. It’s still worth a read though..


The tube strikes last week, and the 2nd set planned for tonight, have been widely covered by the media. The strikes have caused transport misery in the capital this February with commuters queuing hours for buses and forcing swathes of people to walk to their destinations. Some reports however suggest lines were running near empty services as customers deserted the tube in large numbers.

In conjunction with the station staff walk-out there has been a 2nd, less well publicised, type of strike happening over the last two weeks.

It’s called a Revenue Strike and took place last Friday (7th) and yesterday (10th) and is planned to happen again this Friday (14th).

At certain times of the day RMT workers will open ticket gates, shut up ticket offices and machines and refuse to sell tickets or issue penalty fares. So what does that mean? Free ride right? Well I certainly wouldn’t be condoning that would I… but the information and details of when ticket gates will be opened can be found here on the 2nd page of this official RMT strike leaflet.

Customers would still be encouraged to tap in at the start of their journey incase the gates are not open at the end of their journey for whatever reason. (Remember not everyone is in the unions). You could always claim that nobody was able to sell you a ticket be it paper or oyster top up.

With the general public struggling to back the strike this may be a type of walk-out that generates more support with commuters. Especially as such a small amount of union members turned out to vote in the strikes.

– Andy Carter

Side Tracked: Coping With The Strikes

Tonight at 9:30pm the TfL Banterthon will commence as RMT Station Staff walk out over recent proposals to close ticket offices.

Expect travel chaos in the capital for 48 hours as all London Underground lines operates with an extremely reduced service.

Rather kindly, Ian, from IanVisits has produced THIS MAPsummarising the paragraphs of texts released by TfL regarding what lines will run.

As you can see, some lines fare worse than others, and this is in part dictated by the number of stations TfL have considered to be important and safe enough to keep open by the remaining working station staff. Good news perhaps for those who live in Upminster and work in the city as it appears the District Line will be stopping at nowhere whatsoever – a marked improvement on it’s usual lumbering offering. (In fact this is because both Barking and Upminster are owned by Network Rail and not TfL). 

If you’re a commuter on the Northern Line, it looks like you’ve mostly gotten away with it. However, bare in mind that it is likely to become (a jammed packed) hub for both commuters in the north (being displaced from the Central, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines) as well as it’s usual messy self south of the river too.

The Piccadilly Line will remain open for all of 3 stations on it’s northern end, for all those millions travelling between Cockfosters and Arnos Grove… so good news there. Most stations in the city have been closed alltogether with the Central Line operating no further than Leytonstone and White City. Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road appear to be the only two stations that will remain open in the centre of town. So my advice here is: Don’t even bother, they’re going to be absolutely heaving. Best bet is getting yourself to one the national rail termini and finishing the rest of the journey on foot.

If you want to spend the day slowly moving about the east end then the DLR will be providing a full service as normal, and of course the Overground and National Rail services are unaffected as well.

Plan well, suss out alternative routes using nearby national rail services or bus routes but bare in mind these are likely to be busier than normal. Parking at any of these hubs is likely to be few and far between so it might be difficult driving part of the way as well. Parkopedia however is an excellent website which usually lists car parking prices, and on-street restrictions around the capital. CityMapper is also an excellent (and Free!) iPhone/Android app that provides real time updates of all the most useful information: Bus times and routes, tube and national rail departure times, cycle hire points as well as maps and multiple routing options too. Leave extra time for both journeys and consider staying in town later than usual and having a pint and waiting for (some) of the rush to blow over.

I hear there are boats as well?

Good luck London.