Tube train
Tube train

Transport Alternatives During London Tube and Train Strikes



Latest Update: There are further strikes planned for October


Commuting Brits have been hit by numerous rail strikes this year - RMT union members will be striking over job losses and safety concerns. With stations deserted and limited Tube and train services running throughout, even the simplest travel plans can become complicated during strikes. 


We’ve created a guide on alternative ways to travel, so strike or no strike - you’ll be able to navigate your way round the big city.



When Are the Next Strikes, And What’s Affected?

The RMT and ASLEF strikes will affect 14 train companies, some of which operate services in and out of London. These are all the lines affected:   Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, LNER, TransPennine Express, C2C (not involved in the Aslef action), Greater Anglia, GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink), Southeastern, South Western Railway, Chiltern Railways, Northern Trains, and West Midlands Railway.   On top of that, the RMT’s upcoming action on October 4 and 6 will affect the London Underground. 

Members of the ASLEF union will go on strike on September 30th and October 4th and 6th. They will also not work overtime on September 19th and lines will also be affected from October 2nd to October 6th.


How to Get Around London During a Train or Tube Strike

As much as Tube and train strikes can be a pain, the good news is there’s a range of alternative ways to travel around the city. So, for those wondering what to do during the next train or Tube strike, check out our list of travel alternatives below…  


London bus interior


Buses are a handy alternative to consider when Tube and train strikes, well, strike! London has an extensive bus network with comprehensive coverage across the city. The adult fare for a single bus ride is £1.65, no matter where you are in the city or how long the journey is, and the maximum fare for pay as you go bus-only travel across any given day is capped at £4.95. London buses are also cashless, and accept contactless payments, Oyster cards and Travelcards. 


City Bikes

woman with a bike

City Bikes

For those wanting to avoid packed buses when a train or Tube strike hits, city bikes are also available across London. Known as Santander Cycles, or Boris Bikes, this is a public bicycle hire scheme in London. You’ll find docking stations all across London, ensuring there’s a bike close to you, no matter where you are in the city. The bikes cost £2 for an unlimited number of rides up to 30 minutes long (used within a 24-hour window). Just be sure to return your cycle within 24 hours or you might find yourself with a surplus charge.

Find out more on these city bikes and where to hire them via the TfL Santander Cycles page.

Black Cab

black cab

Black Cab

An iconic symbol of London, black cabs are a fantastic way to get around the city, especially during London Underground strike action. Also known as hackney carriages, black cabs offer taxi services all across the Capital. You can pre-book, hail them on the street or pick one up at a taxi rank, with fares set and regulated by TfL. Keep an eye out for a green or yellow badge, this means the cab is TfL licensed. Fun fact, these badges also show that the taxi driver has passed ‘The Knowledge of London’ – a famously tricky exam drivers must take to qualify as a London cabbie. Students typically take 3-4 years to master ‘The Knowledge', needing to memorise a list of 320 routes in a six-mile radius of Charing Cross.

Learn more about black cabs and other TfL taxi services here.


woman in a car


You might also want to consider ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt during TfL rail strike action. There are a few different ways in which these modern ride-hailing alternatives can differ from the traditional black cab, users able to order a ride in-app, pay online and choose from a variety of different lifts to suit their needs (e.g., Uber Assist offers extra support to those with disabilities). There’s an ongoing debate as to whether these ride-hailing alternatives are cheaper than black cabs, the answer being - it depends! The cost for a lift with Uber, for example, can vary depending on the duration of the journey and the amount of people requesting rides in your area at the time.

Car Sharing


Car Sharing

For the next train or Tube strike London faces, car sharing services could be a huge help. Whether you’re just going to and from work, or getting away for the weekend, don’t let the strikes make or break your travel plans. With car sharing, you can rent a car for as little as an hour, or for as long as a couple weeks. You can also save on costs such as parking and fuel, depending on the provider. Did you know Zipcar pays for fuel, parking, congestion charges and even your insurance? This way, you can reap all the benefits of having a car without the hassle of owning one.


Find out more about Zipcar’s London car sharing services.


(Uber) Boat

Women on a boat

(Uber) Boat

Yep, that’s right, Uber Boat actually exists. And it might just save your travel plans during a Tube strike. If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of one of their stops, why not beat the rush and travel to work via boat? Uber Boat runs through East, West and Central zones, with services running from morning to night every day of the week. You can pay for rides via contactless, Oyster, the Thames Clippers ticket app or the Uber app, with ticket prices varying depending on the zone(s) you’re travelling in and payment type.

Find out more about Uber Boat services by following the link.

Accessible Travel

disabled sign

Accessible Travel

A train or Tube strike in London can be difficult for anyone to navigate, let alone if you have a disability. If you’re looking for an alternative, accessible mode of travel there are a variety of tools that can help with this. an online map that helps users find places accessible for those in wheelchairs, including transport. 


Be My Eyes: an app connecting visually impaired users to sighted volunteers via video call. Volunteers can help read bus routes, navigate train stations and more.

Zipcar: Zipcar members with disabilities can access hand-controlled vehicles. Find out more about Zipcar’s services for members with disabilities here.

Find out More About the Strikes

With more strikes potentially on the horizon, it’s handy to know where to turn if, and when, they take place. Here are a few useful sites to help keep you up to date on the latest transport and strike news:  

Transport for London (TfL) Strikes: For the latest news on TfL Tube strikes, including the Tube, the Overground and buses. 


TfL Live Status: Explore TfL live status updates for the Tube, the Overground, DLR, Tram, Buses, River Bus, National Rail and more. 


National Rail Enquiries: Check train times, plan your journey and get travel updates via National Rail Enquiries.


RMT union: Find out more about the strikes launched by RMT union, including why they’re happening and when.

If strikes are affecting your travels, it’s good to have a few alternatives to hand. You’ll find Zipcars dotted all around London, so whether you’re smack bang in the city centre or out in the suburbs, we’ve got you covered. Find the nearest Zipcar to you


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