Bikes are set to take centre stage in the capital if a strike threatened by London Underground workers goes ahead next week.
Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London (TfL) have drawn up detailed plans to minimise disruption and help people get around the capital if a Tube strike threatened by the leadership of the RMT and TSSA unions goes ahead.
Should the strike be confirmed, Londoners who own a bike will be encouraged to cycle to work and employers asked to relax dress codes to allow staff to wear more cycle-friendly clothing. Cycle parking facilities are being made easier for newcomers to access, and a Cycling Journey Planner will be available on TfL's website. The 5,000 Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available to members of the scheme, and TfL’s contractors will be working to ensure that bikes are redistributed as effectively as possible.
Escorted bike rides, extra buses, marshalled taxi ranks, and capacity for 10,000 more journeys on the river are all part of the master plan to help keep Londoners moving. Volunteers will also be positioned at Tube, bus, and rail stations to assist Londoners with their journeys and provide maps and other useful information.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Londoners are a hardy bunch and I am sure a Tube strike will not deter us from getting around. I have asked TfL to pull out all the stops. But we must be clear that the RMT and TSSA plan to inconvenience Londoners for no good reason. The extra measures we have put in call for a team effort and people will need to consider buses, boats or bikes as an alternative to their usual journeys.”
If you are a London commuter or plan to travel in the capital next week the following information should be of interest should the strike go ahead:
• The 5,000 Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available to members of the scheme, although demand is likely to be high, and cycles harder to access, during peak times.
• Londoners who own a bike are encouraged to cycle to work, and a Cycle Journey Planner is provided on tfl.gov.uk
• TfL is writing to hundreds of businesses across London to ask them to be flexible and make it easy for staff to cycle to work, and to allow staff to wear casual clothes on the day.
• Organised and led cycle rides will be provided on the morning of 7 September, meeting between 7:30 and 7:45am for an 8:00am departure from the following locations across the city:
• Ravenscourt park to Trafalgar Square; meeting point main entrance on Kings road.
• Finsbury Park to St Paul's; meeting point entrance to Finsbury Park on Seven Sisters Road
• Mile End to St Paul's (utilising Barclays Cycle Superhighway route 3); meeting point corner of Mile End Road and Burdett Road at entrance to the park
• Swiss Cottage to Moorgate; meeting point junction of Eton avenue and Adamson Road
• Brixton to the West End (utilising the Barclays Cycle Superhighway route 7); meeting point the Ritzy cinema
• Clapham Common to the City (utilising the Barclays Cycle Superhighway route 7); meeting point the bandstand on the common.
• Cycle Parks at Finsbury Park and London Bridge will be making it easy for new users to turn up, register, and leave their bikes. Further information here.