Posts Tagged ‘london underground’

Another strike for the London Underground

July 14th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

undergroundPA 175x125 Another strike for the London UndergroundRemember when people from London had to catch the bus for the day, because the Tube went on strike, and some talked about it like they’d had their basic human rights taken away from them?

Well, they’re going to be at it again, with another round of Tube strikes being announced, which will kick off on August 5th, according to the Aslef and Unite unions. Drivers will be walking out from 9.30pm for 24 hours.

Of course, Bitterwallet told them about the others ways they can get around the capital, including a boat which we think you can drink booze on, so they really shouldn’t complain too much.

If you’ve missed out on all this, because you have been asleep for a month, or indeed, just don’t care, the strikes surround pay and working hours on the new Night Tube service, set to be a thing from September 12th. Of course, some conspiracy theorists believe that the Government don’t actually have the money to run the night service, and this is all a big ruse to avoiding having to do it.

Finn Brennan, from Aslef, said last week: “Today our members will be on the picket lines along with our colleagues and friends in Unite, RMT and TSSA. We are here because London Underground management refused to deal seriously with the issues at the heart of this dispute and resolve them.”

“They wasted the opportunity to resolve this dispute without a strike. The blame for the disruption caused by the strike rests squarely with London Underground management.”

There’s more talks due, which means this strike might not go ahead, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

This week’s Tube strike to go ahead

July 6th, 2015 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

london underground tube 300x210 This weeks Tube strike to go ahead

ASLEF, the union for drivers on the London Underground, have said that the strike will go ahead for 24 hours from Wednesday evening, as unions have not had enough time to study new pay offer.‏

This means that services are going to be messy and Transport for London says that there will be no trains at all from late afternoon Wednesday or all day Thursday.

The 24-hour walkouts will happen from 6.30pm, and services will start to wind down before then.

The issue here, is over the Night Tubes, which are due to run in September. Drivers and staff feel like they’re being shafted over the pay and working hours.

Finn Brennan, the district secretary of Aslef, who happen to represent most of the drivers, had previously said that he was “increasingly pessimistic” that there was going to be an agreement: “They have not moved their position at all during the last three months and seem intent of forcing through change without negotiation.”

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the Night Tube. Most of our staff will not be affected by the new services at all because it affects only five of eleven lines. Some staff will actually work fewer nights than they do now because we have hired 137 more train operators specifically for the Night Tube.”

“The train staff who will be affected are being asked to work around an additional seven nights each year on average, with no increase in their total current hours. In return, we are offering a realistic pay increase this year and next, as well as an additional payment for Night Tube working. We are ready to negotiate, but any increase must be sustainable and fair. I urge the trade unions to keep talking to us.”

Oh look – the night Tube map

June 22nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

London Underground has launched their official map which shows which stations will operate 24-hour services, over the weekends from September onward.

Of course, this follows the news that all the drivers are going on strike over pay and working conditions, which is nice. Members of ASLEF will be on strike for 24 hours from 9.30pm on 8 July.

Here’s the new map.

night tube 500x375 Oh look   the night Tube map

Gareth Powell, director of strategy and service development for London Underground, says that this night service is a “historic step in our modernisation of the Underground”.

He added: “The Night Tube map shows our customers exactly when and where they can use this landmark service, which will make their late night journeys quicker and easier than ever before. As well making life easier for people, the Night Tube will also boost London’s night-time economy – supporting thousands of jobs and stimulating hundreds of millions of pounds in economic growth.”

If you want to see a larger version of the map, click here.

Tube drivers to strike on July 8th

June 19th, 2015 6 Comments By Mof Gimmers

london underground tube 300x210 Tube drivers to strike on July 8thLondon Underground drivers have voted by a whopping 97% to strike next month, over a pay row regarding the introduction of a new all-night Tube service.

The union for the Tube drivers, Aslef, has overwhelmingly voted in favour of taking the 24-hour action on Tuesday, 8 July, objecting to plans which mean drivers would have to work an unlimited number of weekend and night shifts, all for no extra pay.

As you may know, the Tube is going 24 hour at weekends from September.

Finn Brennan, Aslef’s district organiser, said: “There is a window of opportunity for London Underground managers to avoid a summer of disruption by seriously engaging with us to find a solution. They need to withdraw the threat to impose new rosters and make a realistic offer on pay and conditions.”

“We are always prepared to talk, but they have to start listening to this very clear message from their staff.”

“Our members are entitled to a family life and to some sort of work/life balance. We aren’t opposed to all-night services but we want them introduced in a fair and sensible way which rewards staff for their hard work and the contribution they make to the success of the London Underground.”

london underground sign 300x199 How to... get a refund from Transport for LondonWe’ve told you how to get a refund from train companies, but what about Transport for London? If your DLR or London Underground tube train left you unsatisfied, you can get compensation, and here’s how.

If your Tube or DLR service was delayed by 15 minutes or more, or your London Overground service was delayed by 30 minutes or more, TfL will refund you the single fare for the journey you were delayed on.

Of course, they’ll only refund you if the service is delayed by something that they deem to be in their hands. They won’t cough-up if the journey has been held up by planned service changes and engineering work.

They won’t pay out if there’s a security alert, or ‘a customer incident’. There’s the old chestnut of ‘averse weather conditions’ too. Also, if you’re enjoying free travel concessions, you can’t get a refund on that.

How To Apply For A Refund

Okay, if you made your journey with an Oyster card, a paper ticket, key card or c2c smartcard, here’s how you apply for a refund. You have to apply within 14 days of your delayed journey. You’ll need your Oyster card to do it – then, click here, and start the refund process.

Sign-in online and hit the ’My Refunds’ tab, hit ’service delay refund’ and follow the instructions there.

There’s a ‘paper ticket’ option, which allows you to claim back for other types of journey. Or, if you travelled with a contactless payment card, you’ll have to sign-in to your TfL online account and then click on the contactless payment card you travelled with and in the ‘card details’ bit, hit the ‘claim for service delay’ option.

And you can watch this video too.

TfL announce ticket office closure timetable

December 5th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

london underground tube 300x210 TfL announce ticket office closure timetableTransport for London (TfL) have announced their timetable for the closure of ticket offices. Or as the PR calls it ‘ticket hall scheduled transformation’. Urgh.

TfL had announced that they were planning on closing a large percentage of their ticket offices, and will turn the remainder into travel information centres.

There’s already been strikes over this issue, with over 900 staff looking at unemployment, so if you found it irritating to get help in some stations, you’re buggered now.

Imagine being off your tits at 3am when the all-night tubes start running next September, and the machine’s broken. Never mind, you can ask a… oh.

The first ticket offices to be closed will be Chigwell, Embankment, Queensway, Roding Valley, Shepherds Bush, South Wimbledon, Temple, Theydon Bois and Upminster Bridge, starting in February.

Expect about a month’s work of disruption, with some stations requiring slightly longer, however Tfl have said that Green Park and Baker Street will be disrupted for four months. Expect closures, queues and discomfort. Oh hang on, you’re probably used to that already.

TfL reckons 85% of the work will be finished by the end of next year, and the remaining 15% will be no more by April 2016 at the earliest.

new tube 300x168 London Underground unveil new fancy futurist trains The new tube trains are here!

Designs for the new-look London Underground trains has been unveiled and it’s bad news for the drivers, as they’ve been written out. No wonder they’re going on strike.

Yep, the new trains are driverless and will run on the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines.

Perhaps it will be like a DLR arrangement where they’ve made YOU the driver, or at least you’re the driver after you punched a small child to get that seat anyway.

Paul Priestman, director at PriestmanGoode, says: “TfL wanted the New Tube for London to celebrate the great history of transport design in London, whilst acting as a beacon of innovative 21st century public transport.”

“We took inspiration from iconic London landmarks and key attributes of British design to create a tube that is beautiful, simple, functional and maintainable.”

What he fails to mention is that they aren’t due on the tracks anytime soon, with 2020 being the ‘going into service’ date.

Priestman continues: “London’s Tube is one of the most iconic trains around the world. We are proud to have designed something that it is part of the very fabric of London life, celebrating all that’s great about London’s environment; cutting edge technology, rich history and diversity. The New Tube for London will take the city into the future by enriching the everyday journey of its passengers.”

They’ll still hum of commuter B.O. though.

London Underground Strike Action – October 2014

October 7th, 2014 2 Comments By Bitterwallet News

london tube strike 300x207 London Underground Strike Action   October 2014 If you’re travelling into or around the capital next week, prepare for a rough commute – London Underground workers are set to strike again next week as part of the long running dispute over ticket office closures.

Strike action starts at 9pm on Tuesday 14th October and runs for 48hrs, enough time to really piss off workers and those reliant on The Tube right before the weekend.

Octobers planned strikes are the latest walkout in RMT’s “Every Job Matters” campaign. Recent talks between the union and London Underground have fallen flat and whilst the union said small amounts of progress had been made, it clearly wasn’t enough to satisfy RMT’s executives after months and months of negotiations and meeting room fun.

Aside from the loss of all ticket offices and over 750 jobs by 2015, RMT’s Mick Cash said that the closures and staff loss would “render the tube a no-go zone for many people with disabilities and for women travelling alone”.

Not patronising at all.

Night tube finally arrives in, oh, a year’s time

September 24th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

london underground tube 300x210 Night tube finally arrives in, oh, a years timeBig news London night owls. There’s finally a launch date for London’s long awaited Night Tube service!

It’s September 12 2015. Oh.

The launch coincides with the Rugby World Cup happening in That London in the same month. Quite why the powers-that-be have timed it for rugby, is a quandary future generations will puzzle at.

Trains will run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays on five lines to coincide with the tournament.

The Night Tube will run six trains per hour  through central London on the Jubilee, Victoria and Piccadilly, Central and eight trains an hour on the busiest section of the the Northern line.

It’s hoped that the 24-hour service will give a £360m boost to the economy over the next decade and almost 2000 jobs to be created.

The Night Tube will be self-funding as a projected £291m in additional fare revenue will cover the £287m operational and capital costs, according to TfL.

Novelty human Boris Johnson said: “London is a bustling, 24-hour global city and by this time next year we’ll have a 24-hour Tube service to match. Running trains all through the night was once thought impossible, but with the huge investment we’ve put in and upgrades that have been delivered we stand ready to take the Tube to the next level.”

Quite why it’s taken them so long to get around to it, when it dawned on them that it’s self-financing, is again, another mystery. Anyway. The evenings of being slightly terrified on a night bus are over! Now, you’ll be terrified in a tube deep underground instead. Amazing.

amazoninstant Amazon expands its click and collect serviceAmazon are to introduce trial online shopping pick-up lockers in London Underground car parks this month.

The company has become the latest in the line of rivals who’ve set up similar around the tube network.

Under the proposals, lockers will be located in the car parks at – well, not exactly underground underground – Finchley Central and Newbury Park, joining nearly 300 locations around the UK where Amazon offers the service.

This follows London Underground’s tests with click and collect points for Asda last year, and is doing similar with Tesco, Waitrose and Inpost at other stations.

Picking up packages in car parks? Sounds a bit Arthur Daley…

Since the surge in clicking and collecting, Network Rail have since set up a venture with Travelex to pour £24 million into 300 Doddle pick up points. Most major retailers have cottoned on to the wonders of click and collect, offering any service at all to customers who’d rather not leave their goods to the vagaries of the post office.

Amazon has also put collection lockers in stores including Co-op outlets, as its rival eBay teams up with Argos. Meanwhile retailers including John Lewis are working with Collect+, a scheme that allows shoppers to pick up and return items bought online at more than 5,000 independent retailers.

A man, who is a commercial development director at Transport for London, and whose name is Graeme Craig, said: ”Our click and collect partnerships have been extremely successful and we look forward to bringing more of the services our customers want to our network.”

He went on to say that the Amazon bunk-up was part of a wider strategy to generate £3.5 billion in the years to come.

If you’re flying from Heathrow next week, be aware – members of the RMT are planning to walk out at 3am on April 29th for 48 hours. It’s all down to a fight between the London Underground and the RMT over a so-called ‘toxic’ reorganisation of the workforce, (ie, replacing humans with MACHINES) which could threaten 953 jobs – 200 of which concern Heathrow Express staff.

heathrow express All aboard for a 48 hour strike on the Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express are trying to resolve the dispute, but if RMT staff walk out, they reckon they have what it takes to deal with staff shortages and keep trains running. Trying to keep the panic out of his press release, Heathrow Express MD Keith Greenfield said:

‘A strike is not the answer. It will increase costs when we are trying to reduce them, taking us further away from what we need to do to secure our business for the future. However… we have a robust contingency plan that will enable us to run regular trains for as long as any industrial action lasts.’

Meanwhile, the RMT have confirmed a five day tube strike, starting on April 28th until April 30th, then again between May 5th and May 8th.

So if you’re Heathrow bound, you could take the risk that the trains are running. Or you might want to reconsider your plans, or bring a sturdy pair walking boots. Or a skateboard. Or a jetpack. Or just stay in bed until the middle of May – which would be easier.

Paris issues public transport etiquette guide

December 6th, 2013 2 Comments By Lucy Sweet

We need to have this in Britain, MAINTENANT. The Paris Metro has issued 12 commandments of good behaviour on public transport, based on suggestions from the beleaguered public.

man on metro 300x257 Paris issues public transport etiquette guide

Called the ‘Politeness manual for the modern traveller’, the mischievous online guide asks the public not to indulge in various anti-social activities on Le Metro, like playing music, gawping at attractive women, and peeing on the floor.

Of course they do it with typical Parisian flair, using amusing old-fashioned illustrations. And it’s as backhanded and sarcastic as it is charming. It asks passengers to help tourists ‘in Bermuda shirts with a Metro map in one hand and the other hand in their hair’. It also manages to have a dig at tourists trying to pronounce the names of the stations. AW HAW HAW HAW.

Still, it really sets the bar for other global cities to introduce a public transport etiquette guide. The London underground could really use one. Perhaps it could include: no groping, no human interaction, no elbowing, no playing the trombone, no eating tuna sandwiches, no wildly careless applications of bronzer, no farting, no phlegm and no selfies.

Oh, and none of THIS, s’il vous plait.

amazon coins Amazon invade London Underground and invent their own moneySix months after it launched in North America, Amazon Coins have been propelled into the UK and German marketplace. Of course, we’ve already got money that works perfectly well, but Amazon clearly felt the need to create their own currency.

Of course, this is a virtual currency and you can use it to buy paid apps and the like, from the Amazon for Android Appstore. That’s if developers buy into the idea.

Obviously, Amazon think it’ll be worth our while, saying: ”For many Indie developers, Coins has accounted for the majority of their revenue since Coins launched in the US.” The company have celebrated the launch by giving away a small amount of virtual-dough to Kindle Fire owners, most of whom will be looking blankly at it, wondering what to do with it. Maybe buy a virtual bookmark?

As for the exchange rate, 400 Amazon Coins is worth £4 according to Amazon. Naturally, Amazon haven’t forgotten about real money as they are looking at moving into the London Underground. Tube users might not be able to get tickets anymore, but they will be able to buy gadgets and whatnot.

As the Underground is closing their ticket offices (so they can go 24 hours), Amazon are looking at moving in. It has been reported that Transport for London are talking to Amazon about converting ticket offices to drop-off points for goods.

Asda has already announced they’re moving into the Tube, so customers can pick up groceries when they’re not at home to take deliveries.

If the High Street is struggling, maybe it should look to moving everything underground, like some Dystopian sci-fi film?

Asda’s going underground

November 20th, 2013 7 Comments By Lucy Sweet

As a reward for sitting in a packed tin can and moving like a sluggish turd through the bowels of London every day, city commuters may soon be able to pick up their shopping at the tube station. Asda are currently talking to Transport for London to install click and collect points at 6 underground station car parks – with a plan to add 1000 more if the scheme takes off.

East Finchley Sign 300x200 Asdas going underground

So you can order your food before noon, and pick it up from 4pm the same day, without having to walk really far with a bunch of bags.

Asda said: ‘Customers in the South East tell us that they want the prices and quality provided by Asda value but they can’t access it easily. This tie-up with TfL solves that. We’ve led the way in click-and-collect by bringing Asda to where customers are rather than expecting them to come to us.’

Click and collect will be available at East Finchley, Harrow and Wealdstone, Highgate, High Barnet, Epping and Stanmore.

But while this is very modern and convenient, there are couple of issues here. What will become of the local shops, who sell you Koka noodles and blue WKD for an extortionate price? Also, why can’t it be a decent supermarket, like Waitrose?

Bear bike Commuters told to walk if they dont like London Underground

A cyclist, yesterday

Despite the fact loads of people have died on London’s new bicycle super highway, thanks to it being a long strip of deathly errors, commuters and Londoners have been told that, if they don’t like The Tube, they should cycle or walk.

Instead of trying to improve their services, Transport for London (TfL) are basically saying ‘don’t like it? Tough’.

A TfL spokesman said: “For example if you get the Tube at Clapham North to Stockwell just to transfer to the Victoria Line maybe you could instead walk as it would only take 10 minutes. Or could you start your journey 10 minutes earlier to avoid the crowds?”

Basically, the TfL have kicked off a pilot project, starting today, which hopes to ease commuters’ journeys by telling them to go away. A novel approach. Imagine if all businesses said “we’re going to reduce the number of complaints we get by sticking our fingers in our ears until moaners either give up or die.”

A spokesman from website Commuting Expert chucked their hat in the ring, saying: ”Transport costs are going up and up while salaries stay flat so it is frustrating when the service you’re paying for isn’t the service you’re being recommended to use.”