As a result of today’s Tube strike, it took me four and a quarter hours to get from Hackney to White City in Shepherd’s Bush. Admittedly, I didn’t go about it optimally. Here’s a breakdown of the journey:
- I started in Hackney, where I’d been staying with friends. Time: 0830.
- First I tried to take a bus to St Paul’s, where I had a 10 o’clock meeting. There were several suitable bus routes, but every bus that came past was full, and wouldn’t stop to pick up any more passengers. Waiting for bus: 55 minutes. Time: 0925.
- I tried a new tactic: catch one of the nearly-empty buses going in the opposite direction on the same route. Bus in wrong direction: 15 minutes. Time: 0940.
- I texted the person I was supposed to meet in the City to cancel, and decided to concentrate on getting to White City for 1300 instead.
- Further up-route, the buses in the right direction were empty enough to be boardable. However, the traffic was heavily congested and progress was excruciatingly slow. By the time it had reached Shoreditch Church, I’d worked out an alternative, and got off. Bus from Hackney Wick to Shoreditch Church: 85 minutes. Time: 1105.
- Most of the London Overground was running, so I went to the nearest station at Shoreditch High Street. Walking time: 10 minutes. Time: 1115.
- Waiting for train: 10 minutes. Time: 1125.
- Overground to Clapham Junction: 40 minutes. Time: 1205.
- Waiting for next train: 10 minutes. Time: 1215.
- Overground to Shepherd’s Bush: 15 minutes. Time: 1230.
- Walk from Shepherd’s Bush to White City: 15 minutes. Time: 1245.
- And I made it in time for the second meeting!
Lesson learned: check the operating services ahead of time and plan properly. I could have got to White City a lot quicker if I’d gone for the orbital Overground route earlier. Making the meeting in the City was always going to be difficult and I should probably have cancelled it as soon as the strike was confirmed.