Despite last-ditch, ten-hour talks to avert a 48-hour tube strike, the RMT trade union and Transport for London have this evening failed to agree a compromise. Londoners who rely on the tube will need to get around without it from 7pm Tuesday.
What's bad for London underground users is good for the bike trade. London cyclist - and mayor - Boris Johnson has helped draw up plans to get commuters around the capital, including on bikes.
Quick on the uptake, London Cycling Campaign has a dedicated website aimed at the new bike commuters expected to be on London's roads, especially from Wednesday morning. BikeTube.org.uk is being linked to from the Transport for London website.
The 'bike the strike' website - with a Bike the Strike edition of the Bike to Work Book - lists a number of 'bike buddy' joint rides into central London from a number of outlying locations. It's likely that Boris Johnson will be on the 7.45am ride from Finsbury Park to City Hall.
"I am determined to do as much as is humanly possible to ease the journeys of the millions of Londoners whose lives may be disrupted," said Johnson.
As well bike tube rides and extra cycle parking, TfL plans include run extra buses, provide access to all Greater London National Rail services with Oyster pay as you go, and a free River shuttle service. Plus, during the morning peak hours of 08:00-10:30, taxi drivers will be operating a marshalled, fixed-fare shared taxi service for central London destinations at seven major London rail termini: Waterloo, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Paddington and Euston.
In addition to the large cycle park at Finsbury Park and existing racks at major London stations across the city, another 1,000 cycle parking spaces will be provided at London Bridge cycle park and temporary cycle parking facilities.
LCC chief executive Koy Thomson said: “Major transport disruption forces a change in travel behaviour. When people try cycling, they’ll realise that it’s far more efficient, reliable and enjoyable than the tube, and stick with it. We predict a major surge in cycling growth.”
There are five ‘Bike Tube’ bicycle rides into central London. Cyclists will be able to pick up London Cycle Maps at the ride 'hubs'.
Thomson said: “We urge tube commuters to visit the biketube website and get set to Bike the Strike. Carry on cycling and this will be the last transport disruption to affect you."
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has called its members out for 48 hours from 18:59 on Tuesday 9th June to 18:58 on Thursday 11th June.
Meeting point 7:45 am @ Brixton – Oval – Elephant & Castle – Blackfriars - Holborn
Meeting point 7:45am @ Finsbury Park main gate route – Arsenal - Highbury & Islington – Angel – Moorgate – Mansion House – London Bridge – City Hall
Meeting point 7:45am @ Mile End, Green Bridge route – Stepney Green – Cable Street – Tower Hill – Bank
Meeting point 7:45am @ Ravenscourt Park route – Hammersmith – High Street Kensington – Hyde Park Corner – Charing Cross – Trafalgar Square
Meeting point 7:45am @ Swiss Cottage route – Hampstead – Belsize Park – Chalk Farm – Mornington Crescent – Euston – Gower Street – Tavistock Place – Gray’s Inn Road – Clerkenwell – Farringdon - Moorgate
* Trafalgar Square: 150 spaces (06:00-21:00 on Wednesday and Thursday)
* Potters Field, accessed via Weavers Lane: 100 spaces (open access from Tuesday evening, with racks removed at 21:00 on Thursday)
* Waterloo bus garage, accessed only via Cornwall Road off The Cut, approach via Sandell Street: 150 spaces (08:00-17:30 on Wednesday and Thursday - closing strictly at 17:30)
* London Bridge cycle park: 350 spaces (07:30-21:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
* The Mall, between Marlborough Road and George IV statue/Queen Mother memorial: 250 spaces (open access from Tuesday evening, with racks removed at 21:00 on Thursday)