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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How to beat the Tube Strike

(AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE on 8/9: It might be a week late, but since RMT vowed another strike in the coming week (10/9 - 12/9), I would like to say a few words about that)

As I have heard, there is a wide-spread tube strike in London at the moment. Simon moaned that he is not looking forward to go to Newbury for the next few days. I believe many of you would have the same feeling under such crippling strike. Here are some of my tips you can get around a bit.

1. Read your map!

Yes, you should read not just the Tube Map, but the Tube and Rail Map like this.

So, say you live in the South-West of London and you're trying to get to Newbury. Forget about getting to Paddington first even though it is usually quicker: go through South West Train and change at Reading. Where to get on this particular train to Reading? Clapham Junction mate. Even though the journey between Clapham and Reading is about 50-60 60-70 mins, it'd beat getting stuck at the traffic trying to get into Paddington!

(Edit notes on 5/9: I've rechecked the timetable and therefore change the time needed to travel from Clapham Junction to Reading. It is also interesting to know that South West Trains had retimed slower than it used to be!)

2. Get a bike

If you're adventurous enough, riding a bike would be a fast option in London nowadays sans strike. You'll get sweaty but fit. Though you might inhale a lot of exhaust so wear a mask. Man, you should wear a mask even taking a tube! (Prominent example: this)

(PS. Since taking the tube often involves getting into a deep-level staion, the apparent time benefits have diminshed there. Still, it's quicker than bus before the road traffic above can be horrid in rush hours.)

3. Just stay at home

If you can afford to work at home, do so. You'd alleviate people from crushing buses.

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