What travelling into London was like today
The tube strike affected me dearly, and it will in the coming days as well. I’m actually dreading my journey back home – as I write this.
It usually takes me half an hour to get into work from Stratford to Tottenham Court Road (Oxford Street), but today it took me two hours.
I live near West Ham underground station, which was closed at 7:30 am when I arrived there. I was told that I could take the DLR to Stratford International station. I did so and had to walk a mile to Star Lane DLR station near Canning Town. When I arrived, the person on the tannoy had announced that they had reopened West Ham Underground station. Essentially I walked a mile to hear that where I had walked from had reopened. I felt like a real mug.
I arrived at Stratford to see that the Central Line had limited service up to Liverpool Street. I jumped on the Central Line and then jumped off at Liverpool Street and made my way out of the station.
I was greeted by hundreds of others standing by bus stations waiting for ‘their’ bus to arrive. I then thought it would be a better idea to walk mile down the road to catch an earlier bus. Luckily for me this worked out, as I jumped on the number 242 bus to Tottenham Court Road. What I hadn’t contemplated was the fact that the traffic was abysmal. We were going at 2 miles per hour at best. The most noticeable thing throughout that 1 hour and 30 minute journey was the fact that we went to those bus stops outside of Liverpool Street (the ones that I mentioned that had hundreds of people gathered around) and they were acting like crazed maniacs fighting for their survival to get on the bus. It was almost like a scene on 28 days later, where you had delicious humans crammed on a bus with zombies doing everything in their power to get on the bus to eat the humans on board.
A few stops later, you had people getting on the bus through the back door when people were trying to get off. It was a complete nightmare. Of course, you had the bus driver at the front frantically shouting saying that the bus inspector, who never came, would appear at the next stop.
Finally, I made it. I was listening to my music, and then all of a sudden the bus came to a halt. I didn’t recognise the area I was in, as I actually had not needed to take the bus before to Tottenham Court Road and always used the London Underground.
My journey home however was little different.
I simply jumped on the Northern Line to Waterloo, then transferred over onto the Jubilee Line towards Stratford. I got off at Canning Town to do some food shopping and viola. That took me around an hour still, but was obviously much quicker than taking a bus in rush hour. I’ll be taking the same route tomorrow morning.
I came to conclusion that I take the underground for granted. It’s an exceptional service, which provides a quick commute that might be full of, what seem to be, angry people or people always in a rush, but I guess that is what makes the underground what it is.