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Tube strike survival guide: how to get around London

Written by
Josh Mcloughlin

The tube can be stressful at the best of times, but when there's a strike, London goes into meltdown.

If you've tried to get into work this morning, you'll know that it's chaos out there, as a strike by tube staff is causing gridlock on the roads and huge crowds at stations across the city.

But fear not, Londoners – we're here to help. Take a deep breath, follow our tube strike survival guide, and everything will be okay. You'll still be late for everything, but you'll live.


Click here for the full-sized map

It sounds mad, but hear us out. Those two fleshy protrusions aren't just for tucking under your desk at work. When the strike shit hits the travel fan, sometimes the best (ie. the only) thing to do is hit the road on foot. Use TfL's awesome walking tube map, which shows the walking time in minutes and steps between each station. Have fun by pretending you're in 'The Matrix' as you dodge between tourists.

Download Citymapper

Unless you're a bus spotter, you're going to need some extra help when it comes to re-routing your trip on strike day. The best travel app, bar none, is Citymapper, and it should be on every Londoner's phone. With Citymapper you can see real-time travel updates, estimated journey times (factoring in the strike) and where the actual bus is on the actual route.


Now's the perfect time to make good on that new year resolution to cycle in to work. No bike? No excuse. Boris bikes are everywhere in central, and commuting on two wheels is quicker for most journeys under eight miles. TfL has also set up pop-up Boris bike hubs to help ease your tube strike pain today.

Get the bus

Click for the full-sized map

The bus is pretty much your best bet today, and TfL is running an extra 150 buses to help ease your woes. Even so, you'll have to queue, they will be hugely overcrowded and traffic will be painfully slow. But at least there's this nifty map to show you the key bus routes in central London. 

Stay updated with TfL Travel Alerts

If you don't follow TfL Travel Alerts on Twitter, do it now. If you don't have Twitter, get it and follow TfL Travel Alerts, because it provides the latest updates and advice for passengers using the tube, bus, overground, DLR, TfL Rail and trams. If you're going to beat the strike, these updates are a good place to start. 

Use this amazing interactive tube strike map

Forget the regular tube map, that's no good to you today. Instead, check out this awesome interactive tube line closure map from Mapping London editor Oliver O'Brien, which uses live data from TfL, meaning it updates every few minutes. The interactive map shows disrupted lines, partially closed stations and closed stations. There's even a handy tally of how many stations are currently open/closed. It's basically the stuff of cartography dreams.

Find more info about which stations and lines are open.

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