'An hour-long journey turned into three hours': readers on the tube strike
Despite arriving late or working from home, commuters have been telling us their employers have been understanding
With every Underground line affected and London’s roads jammed as a result of the disruption, Monday’s 24-hour tube strike has caused significant problems for the capital’s commuters. But some Guardian readers reported that their employers have taken an understanding view of their plight.
Harry Hewitt, who works in film production, spent an hour trying to get into work only to end up going back home:
I live near Manor House and travel to Holborn. I spent an hour watching bus after bus go past in crawling traffic as the crowds at the bus stop grew larger and larger. The majority of the people in my area rely on the Piccadilly and Victoria lines to get into town and it’s utter carnage on the roads today.
My employer finally sent me a message to say I could work from home this morning but to try coming in later when it calms down (if it calms down). I’ve been given leave to work from home this morning but they want me to try and get in at some point. Given the state of things I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do that and even less sure of how I’d make it home at the end of the day even if I do make it into town.
I left home an hour early. I attempted to take the tube to Finsbury Park from Arnos Grove to catch a bus. What is normally an hour-long journey turned into a three-hour one. With no Piccadilly line or any other viable options to get to Mayfair, I gave up and went home.
I had to email my employer an hour before I was supposed to be in work to say there was no way for me to get in today. It was my first day back after the Christmas holiday and my first day as a full-time employee (I used to be an intern). My boss was supportive as she was also having tube trouble, so I felt lucky she was so understanding. Now working from home today without the proper files and contacts I need to do my job properly.”
I’m fortunate to work for an employer who is understanding, so I am working from home. Being eight months pregnant, there was no way I was going to be able to negotiate the crowds during the strike. If my employer wasn’t understanding I would have had to use up a much-needed day of annual leave.”
I normally cycle every day but noticed a huge increase in the number of cyclists today. It’s great that more people are getting on a bike in times like these, however it made me realise that perhaps some of our new cycling infrastructure – the cycle superhighways in particular – are not designed for this many cyclists.
One other issue I faced was the sheer amount of people walking to work – lots of them crossing the road carelessly while looking the wrong way or staring at mobile phones. People were walking in the cycle lanes, which was unhelpful when they were already overcrowded. The best thing about the tube strike was that the car traffic was very static, with long traffic jams which meant that cycling on the road was easier as none of the cars were moving.
I’m working at home today. With the Southern rail chaos compounded by this recent tube strike, it makes it almost impossible for me to get to work on time. My head has been very understanding, but the recent months have made my job untenable and therefore I have been forced to resign. My daily trip to work regularly takes two-and-a-half hours and frequently longer due to cancellations, signal problems and staff shortage. This is my third year and, quite frankly, enough is enough.”
Source: Guardian Transport