London tube strike: keeping up to date
Once again England's capital city has been brought to its knees by another 24-hour tube strike, orchestrated by the pesky TSSA (Transport Salaried Staff's Association) and RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers). Not to worry, as Pocket-lint is on hand to make sure that you get home safely.
Tube workers packed up at 18.30 on Sunday 3 October, reportedly over plans to cut 800 ticket office jobs. The RMT has also issued a press release warning that further cuts will lead to safety issues, with militant RMT leader Bob Crow warning that these could "turn the tube into a death trap".
Even if you fully agree that the right to strike is an important part of a democracy, it's still a pain in the proverbial if you're trying to get to and from work in London. That's why we've trawled the Internet to find some of the best ways that you can keep up to date with travel news during the strike, so that you don't get stranded on the way home from work.
Apologies if you don't live anywhere near London and all this is of no relevance to you whatsoever.
Your first port of call should probably be the official Transport for London web page which offers live travel news, as well as a page dedicated entirely to the strike. Here you can check if your tube line or station is open and if not, look for an alternative route using other means of transport.
Many of the nationals are covering the strike but The Guardian, with its predictably London-centric coverage, has a very comprehensive live update page where you can get the latest news on the travel situation as well as share your harrowing stories about having to get on a crowded bus. There are also links to blog posts and tweets and statements from TFL to keep you fully abreast of what's going on.
There are plenty of apps available on various platforms that will keep you up to date with what's going on with London transport, such as TubeMap. Most of them are unofficial and offer the same sort of information which includes live updates of which lines are open and which are delayed, along with any station closures. A very handy tool if you're on the move.
Keen cyclists might like to try and get round the strike by taking to the roads using the recently launched Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, also known as the "Boris Bikes". The free Cycle Hire app gives you access to plenty of info such as cycling routes, access to your hire account and a GPS-based cycle docking station finder.
As usual, Twitter is full of daft comments by those that fail to grasp the underlying issues behind the strike, but there are also plenty of useful transport updates on there. The RMT (one of the unions responsible for the strike) is on Twitter, mainly responding to messages of support, and encourages its members to "keep up the good work comrades". It is also trying to help out stranded Londoners by re-tweeting travel information from @tubeupdates. These let you know what is going on with each tube line, and whether the disruption is Medium, Severe or Cleared.
Not only has Facebook now got its own film, it's also a goldmine of info for keeping up to date with what's happening in the world, via the medium of your mates. There are also plenty of pointless groups calling for the head of the RMT leader, including one called Boycott Bob Crow that encourages shops and businesses around the country to refuse to serve him. Mature, yeah?
If you're sympathetic to the plight of the tube workers or you want to know more about their grievances, then you can read all about it on the RMT's and the TSSA's websites.
If not, and you're merely apoplectic with rage at being stranded on your way to or from work, then just sit back and listen to this comedy re-working of The Jam's Going Underground (and yes, we know it's been around for ages). This is most definitely NSFW and not suitable for those that are hugely opposed to gratuitous swearing for comic effect. You have been warned.
Got any other ways to keep up to date with travel updates during the strike? Let us know in the comments box below