Today, the 6th of August is tube strike here in London.
For all of those who do not live here: the tube is a vital part of getting around in the city. Not only spreads the tourists out, but with the living expenses so high in the capital people are living further and further away from the centre in order to save money. The average commuters journey takes around 40 minutes. And that is just in public transportation- not even counting the walking to the stations.
And when it’s working fine, it is already chaotic on peak hours – sweaty smelly people, everyone cramped together, no personal space – really count yourself lucky that your nose is stuffed against someone’s armpit! It’s hot, there are no seats, I gave up putting make up at home because of all the hassle of sweating on the trains. So I get up, go to work early, cool down, make up and then: ta-dah! Beautiful fresh looking Claudia to the rescue.
Anyway, today is mental. This is the second strike in a couple of months, and commuters have been cursing all day. Taxis are charging 20% more on their fares, journeys take forever, the buses don’t even stop because there’s simply no space for people to get on. The city is basically on a stand still where walking might well be the only option. Or cycling. True, is a more healthier way of life, but for example me: It takes me 50 minutes of commuting to get to work. How am I supposed to walk 15 miles to be there at 7.30 am?
And it’s not just bad for commuting, it’s bad for business. Thousands of appointments and reservations cancelled. After all the work getting there: there’s just no people around.
So… if your business allows it: call in sick. Yup. As bad as it sounds….You will not be the only one.
– Leave for work REALLY early. Not only because the traffic will be a nightmare, but buses will not stop. Remember that people start going to work at 5am, which means that there will be lines for even night buses and the queue just makes it bigger
– If you live close to work; walk;
– If you live in a radius of up to an hour an a half: buckle up and cycle or walk.
– Use the overground and trains to make it as close as possible
– Keep water and snacks with you
– There are extra 250 buses around, please use them but be aware of traffic and queues
– Use Taxis or Mini Cab services.
– Why not try to use the river boats? Be honest, how long have you lived here without using it? you can literally be in Richmond or Greenwich and they’ll take you to Westminster.
– Once off work, don’t rush trying to beat the crowds. Instead, head out to the pub and have a pint or two before going home.
Whatever you do, hold on, don’t give in to despair and above all: Good luck!