In a bid to minimize disruption during Christmas holidays, TfL has scheduled a special wave of services to counter the Boxing Day strike planned by the train drivers and fire fighters’ union, Aslef.
On 26 Decmeber, London’s 700 bus routes will be in operation plus “extra buses operating in busy shopping areas and an enhanced service in the West End,” according to TfL.
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will operate, despite the strike, except between Bank/Tower Gateway and Poplar/West India Quay due to already planned engineering.
Londoners can also use the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, which is available across central London, as well as the London Tramlink, says TfL.
River services will operate between Greenwich and Westminster, stopping at Tower Pier, London Eye and Embankment.
Chelsea football club have announced that their match against Fulham on Boxing Day will go ahead despite the strike, but Arsenal have rescheduled their game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, moving it to 27 December, as supporters rely heavily on public transport to travel to the Emirates Stadium near Finsbury Park station.
London Underground (LU) said that despite reducing the numbers of train staff required to work during the holiday period, so that only one in four are rostered to book on, Aslef decided to go ahead with the strike.
Aslef, which represents the Tube drivers, are striking over pay holiday pay. The union wants triple pay and a day off in lieu for drivers working on the bank holiday.
Speaking about the high court’s decison to allow the strike to go ahead, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Whilst we’re obviously very pleased with today’s verdict, we feel that two days have been wasted going through the courts when we could have spent that time finding a resolution to this dispute.”
Commenting on the strike, Howard Collins, LU’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is a clear case of the Aslef leadership attempting to hold Londoners to ransom and we would urge them, yet again, to call off this unnecessary strike action.
“We have made every effort to resolve this issue, including reducing the number of drivers needed to work Boxing Day so that only one in four are rostered to work.
“Thousands of Londoners rely on the Tube network on Boxing Day to take advantage of sales, watch the football or get to work.”
Alternative ways to travel on Boxing Day:
Rail replacement bus services
- A Northern line replacement service will operate between Camden Town and High Barnet/Mill Hill East, with extensions to Euston/King’s Cross
- A District line replacement service will operate on the Wimbledon branch and will be extended to Hammersmith
- On the DLR replacement buses will operate between Bank/Tower Gateway and Poplar/West India Quay
- On the Bakerloo line LU intends to run a limited service between Queens Park and Paddington
- On the Central line LU intends to run a limited service between Hainault and Ealing Broadway, switching to a service between White City and Leytonstone at 13:00
- On the Circle line there will be no service
- On the District line LU intends to run two limited shuttle services between Acton Town and Ealing Broadway and Upminster and West Ham. Replacement buses will also run on the Wimbledon branch, including a service linking to Hammersmith with possible further extensions
- On the Hammersmith & City line LU intends to run services from Hammersmith to King’s Cross St Pancras
- On the Jubilee line LU intends to run a limited service between Stanmore and Finchley Road
- On the Metropolitan line there will be a limited service between Baker Street and Harrow-on-the-Hill
- On the Northern line LU intends to run a limited service between Morden and Stockwell. Due to planned engineering works replacement buses will also operate between Camden Town and Mill Hill East/High Barnet, with extensions to Euston/King’s Cross
- On the Piccadilly line there will be a shuttle service between Heathrow 1,2,3 and Acton Town (calling at Heathrow 1,2,3, Hatton Cross, Boston Manor and Acton Town)
- The Victoria line service will be running between Seven Sisters and Brixton with a service frequency of every 10 minutes