Tips for the strikes taking place in the UK this Summer

I am flying to London on July 7th with a series of pet sitting gigs lined up thru the end of September. My itinerary is taking me to London, Deal, Rochester, Yorkshire and Hampshire. I’ve been reading about the various strikes taking place and I’m ready to be flexible with whatever happens. Does anyone have advice, particularly for getting from LHR to Clapham when I arrive if the Tube is not an option that day? Besides newspapers and the TFL Go app, what are good ways to stay on top of things? Thanks in advance.

2 Likes

I live in England and other than the TFL app and website, another that’s good is The Trainline. I often use it. If there are strikes, The Trainline is good at offering alternative ways of travel

Also, Victoria Coach Station is a major hub and coaches go to/from there to numerous locations (inc Heathrow), so I would suggest having a look on there too. If there are strikes, it might be an option to get a coach to Victoria then take a taxi.

Not all underground stations have lifts/elevators, so just a heads up you might be carrying your case up a lot of stairs!

You can also use your credit or debit card on London buses and the underground. Make sure you tap as you board the bus (yellow pad) and when you get off. Same on the underground. Even if the barriers are open, still tap or you will be charged for a longer journey.

Hope that helps a little and enjoy your time in the UK.

5 Likes

Daisy, do you still need to tap off on London buses? I thought that had changed.

1 Like

Hi @toml my mistake, it’s only tap on for buses. (It’s been a while since I was in London). Thanks for the update. :grin:

1 Like

The union has to give 2 weeks notice of any train/tube strikes so that will give you time to consider a different journey.
As @Daisy999 states Trainline is very useful; they will refund tickets and give advice of alternative journeys.
I always recommend booking in advance as it is cheaper; then google “train strikes” regularly to see if your journey is affected then obtain ticket refund if required.

3 Likes

Thanks for all the great information. I have an Oyster Card that I use when I am in London. (I have to load it, because the system doesn’t allow automatic connection to CC for visitor Oyster Cards.)

Secondary question: As a US resident, I have found that my contactless credit cards don’t always work when I am in Europe/the UK. That’s why I still use an Oyster Card. Is that changed? Maybe the compatibility is better now? Thanks!

1 Like

I’m on a housesit in Antwerp, Belgium. You asked about contactless credit cards in Europe/UK. I can tell you that my cards are working here when I tap them for a purchase. I’ll be in the UK in about a week and I’ll post any info I get there. BTW, thanks to other posters on this thread. I didn’t realize strikes were an issue in the UK until I read about it.

2 Likes

Tapped my US card yesterday

1 Like

As mentioned, Trainline has been great at offering alternative routes or rebooking. Have had no difficulties.

3 Likes

Thanks for this intel. I will be in London myself starting on the 7th July. I will be trying my contactless cards. Who knows, maybe they will work.


As long as your card has this symbol it will work on the tap reader

1 Like

When was the last time you had trouble with it? We’ve been using contactless cards since 2016 in UK, France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal and have had no trouble. Before that, we did have trouble sometimes. Sometimes if the tap doesn’t work, we insert it in the machine and put in our code. (The same thing happens to me here in Canada sometimes as well.)

1 Like

@Kelownagurl It was definitely years ago. Like maybe 2018? Maybe in Paris or Amsterdam. Once technology doesn’t work for me I have a habit of leaving it behind and not wanting to be bothered. (I started traveling in the 80s when all we had were physical maps and landlines.) I’m glad to hear the US is compatible now. I can’t wait to see if it works. Thanks all!

1 Like

Good to know! I just checked and two of my credit cards (including the one I prefer to use when traveling – zero international charges) has that symbol. Another credit card and my debit card do not, and maybe that is where I have had trouble because I typically prefer to use cash/debit card rather than credit when I travel. Still, I will be thrilled if I can tap for purchases etc.

1 Like