London

Tube strike: Commuters share their experiences

Earl's Court Image copyright Ellen Woodward
Image caption Earl's Court was one of the stations that remained open

The first of two 48-hour strikes by London Underground staff caused rush-hour problems for many in the capital.

Transport for London said it was operating services on eight out of 11 lines but RMT leader Bob Crow said the strike was "rock solid".

Londoners have been sharing their experiences with BBC News. Many said their journey had not been affected, with some even saying it was quicker.

Others said it took them up to four times as long to get to work. On average, readers said they spent an hour longer travelling.

By bus, train or rollerblades

Image copyright other
Image caption Some buses were brought out of retirement to help get people around London. (Pics Chris Thomas and Alice Fox)

Dave Curtis was in the minority in both his method of travel and for getting to work early. "I got the bus from Muswell Hill to Archway then rollerbladed to Euston," he said.

Meanwhile, Chris Mullings said his journey was punctuated with the odd happy face.

"I usually get a 38 bus into work," he said. "And today was no different except that it took 30 minutes longer and the bus I travelled in on looked like it had been taken out of a museum and dusted down.

"It provided a lot of smiles to the hundreds of otherwise miserable commuters."

For Laura Stylianou, the bus ride was no fun. "I waited 45 minutes for a bus from Tottenham Hale to Seven Sisters to get the Victoria Line to Euston," she said.

"About five busloads of people then tried to cram on to one bus. I am six months pregnant and feel like I have done a week's work already. I am dreading the journey home."

'I could have gone to Belgium'

Image copyright Tassos Tzezairlidis
Image caption Some commuters have complained about the lack of information

Many workers had already seen enough of the day by the time they arrived at their desk.

"My usual 40-minute ride from Canning Town to Victoria turned into a three-and-a-half hour bus nightmare," Zoran Jovicic said.

Lucy Stephens's commute from Finsbury Park to work near Victoria usually takes 45 minutes but was turned into a two-and-a-half hour slog by the strike.

And it proved a long 15 miles for Khalid Atal. "It took me four hours," he said. "Not bad, although I could have travelled to Belgium in that time."

'What's all the fuss about?'

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There was peace and quiet for some commuters

Stephen Davies stayed in bed a little longer and "enjoyed" his commute. "I went in a bit later to avoid the rush hour and avoided the large crowds, while benefiting from all the station closures to enjoy an express service on both Northern and Jubilee lines," he said.

"My journey was probably about five to ten minutes quicker than usual. Result!"

Iain Morrison said his girlfriend Frances Gough was also pleasantly surprised.

He said: "She sent me a message to say the journey was quieter than normal and only took 45 minutes door to desk via the Northern Line. She even got a seat at Stockwell."

Getting a seat also made Stuart Coulson's morning. "I don't see what all the fuss was about," he said.

"The journey from Balham to Bank was great this morning. It was the first time in a long time I was able to get a seat and didn't emerge from the Tube sweating from the cramped conditions."

You can follow any disruption on the BBC London travel Twitter feed or on the BBC London Travel Page. You can also get regular travel updates from the BBC London 94.9 travel team.

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