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Latest one-day tube strike gets underway

But freezing temperatures likely to see fewer taking to two wheels

The latest 24-hour London tube strike due to get under way at 18.29 on Sunday, 28 November is likely to provide yet another shot in the arm to the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme.

The uptake may not reach quite the levels seen during the three previous strikes which have taken place in milder weather but undoubtedly those bouts of industrial action have opened the eyes of many commuters to the possibility of cycling to and from their place of work.

During the strike in early October, Transport for London reported a 23% increase in the use of Barclays Cycle Hire scheme bikes compared to a typical day.

And as the first round of industrial action got underway in September, monitored webcams dotted all over London and noted a significant number of additional cyclists on the roads compared to the previous, non-strike day.

But with the country in the grip of extremely cold weather there and sub-zero temperatures predicted for London overnight, the possibility of icy road conditions will likely deter some cyclists who might otherwise have been tempted to beat the strike by using either Boris bikes or their own machines.

The root cause of the strike is a disagreement between London Underground management and two unions, the RMT - the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers - and TSSA - Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. The unions are taking action over what they say are plans to axe 800 jobs and other cuts which will compromise safety on London Underground.

The company's management say changes to working practices are inevitable given the introduction of technology such as the Oyster Card. However, they say the changes will come with no impact on safety and a cast-iron guarantee that no member of staff will face compulsory redundancy.

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thereverent | 13 years ago

I didn't cycle today as I'm trying to shake off a heavy cold.
But I did notice people arriving in the city on Boris bikes try to find an empty docking station slot. The ones went past were all full.
Actually in icy conditions I would feel more stable on a Boris bike rather than my commute bike.

HaloJ | 13 years ago

Yeah I saw a few people on bikes crying out for oil with their owner's hands frozen to the handlebars as I cycled through there this morning. Big mistake for tfl as each strike recently has had adverse weather making more people get kit relevant to the situation. Putting tube prices up whilst also driving their passengers to other forms of transport isn't a sensible way to generate revenue.

Paul M | 13 years ago

I had noticed this morning that despite the cold, there were more cyclists crossing Blackfriars Bridge than usual.

However, very few were on Boris Bikes so it is either a statistical blip, or people are digging their bike out from the back of the shed again.

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