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London Tube strike 2015: how to avoid underground chaos

London Underground is set to come to a standstill this week in the most chaotic strike in a decade. If you’re worrying about how to navigate your commute this week, here’s how to stay calm in the crisis, make your way to work and survive the strikes over the next few days.

When are the London tube strikes happening?

London Underground and First Great Western trains are expected to come to a standstill at 6.30pm on Wednesday (July 8).

Why are the strikes happening?

The dispute arose over a pay increase ahead of the launch of the 24-hour Night Tube later this year. Despite engaging in active negotiations, representatives from four unions – RMT, ASLEF, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite – rejected London Underground’s offer of a two per cent rise and a £2,000 bonus for drivers working on the all-night service.

In a separate row, First Great Western staff will concurrently strike over plans to cut workers and buffet cars on the company’s new Hitachi Inter City Express trains. Which lines will be affected? The entire London Underground service, excluding the DLR and London Overground lines, will be shut down; a total of 11 lines and 260 stations closed.

First Great Western services to and from Paddington also face disruption from Wednesday evening to Friday. The strikes are expected to be the most chaotic for a decade.

Tube strikes set to bring London to a standstill (Picture: Getty) How long will the strikes last for?

The strike on the Underground tubes will last for 24 hours – from 6.30pm Wednesday (8 July) to Thursday (9 July).

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There will officially be no Tube service from late afternoon on Wednesday until Thursday (July 9) evening.

First Great Western services will be significantly affected from Thursday, July 9 to the start of service on Saturday, July 11.

Are the strikes definitely going ahead?

Frantic last minute between Tube chiefs and union bosses took place on Tuesday but no deal was reached. The two parties could still return to the table on Wednesday in the hours ahead of the industrial action. But for now the strike is on.

How can I avoid the strikes?

Keep an eye on the Transport for London Website

Transport for London will be updating the status of their lines here.

Follow TFL and First Great Western on Twitter

It is also suggested to follow @TfLTravelAlerts and @FGW on Twitter for live updates.

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Plan an alternative transport route

Use TFL’s route planner to plan an alternative journey and calculate how long it will take you to get to work during the distruptions. The DLR, London Overground, buses and National Rail services will be running and TFL will be putting around 200 extra buses on the roads – but expect services to be busy.


The DLR will not be affected (Picture: Getty) Walk, cycle or run to work

Apps like Citymapper will help you to calculate how long it will take for you to walk your route to work. If you’re planning to run to work, make sure to dress appropriately – luckily, it’s not forecast to rain tomorrow – and carry a bottle of water.

Cyclists who will be relying on the city’s Boris bikes can use this map to find their nearest docking station.

Use one of London’s alternative transport methods

The Thames Clipper riverboat service stops include Putney, Wandsworth Riverside, Chelsea Harbour, London Eye, Embankment, Blackfriars, Bankside, London Bridge, Tower Hill, Canary Wharf and Greenwich. Extra river boat services will be in place between Central London and Canary Wharf and between Central London and Putney.


If you know someone at work who lives in your area, plan to share a car in the morning. The roads will be busier than usual, so factor extra time into your journey.

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Download an audiobook, podcast or playlist

Whether you decide to make a start on Serial or trial Apple Music’s playlists, make sure you’ve got some entertainment lined up for your extended journey.

Extended journeys: download a podcast or playlist to keep yourself occupied (Picture: Getty) Plan to work from home

Make the necessary arrangements today to work from home tomorrow, if you have the option to.

If in doubt, book a taxi

But get your request in early and expect a wait.


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