Wednesday 10 June 2009

Down the tubes

Last night it was as well to get home early as workers of the RMT union on the London Underground went on strike.

The misery has settled over London for 48 hours as although the strike officially lifts at 7pm Thursday by this time all the trains will be 'out of position' and normal services are not expected to resume until Friday morning.

The Jubilee and Northern lines have come out least affected report only 'minor delays' at lunchtime... although when I checked the live departure board the Jubilee was only running trains every 10 minutes... which I'd definitely class as 'severe delays'. The Waterloo and City line and Circle line are both suspended completely (generally voted as lines most likely to be supsended for any reason at all) and all other lines have partial suspensions; with very few services through the centre of town. Get the latest on TfL's live and interactive map.

Of course the chaos doesn't stop (nowhere near) at the Tube. I got a bus this morning and as I crossed the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel at around quarter to seven the traffic was already queueing back past the Sun-in-Sands towards the Kidbrooke Interchange - about an hour and a half early for that amount of disruption.

The buses weren't too bad until reaching central London (Elephant & Castle coming from the South) by which point the bendy-bus I was on had got so full it was only stopping if passengers wanted to get off. By the time I reached Whitehall it was obvious that if you weren't already on a bus it was probably going to be quicker to walk - it was still barely eight o'clock and queues at bus stops were significant.

Whatever the problems this morning these are nothing compared to the chaos there will be this evening. Morning rush-hour disugises the extent of the problem as passengers are coming from numerous diverse locations. Evening rush-hour will be horrendous as everyone tries to get out of Central London at the same time.