Christmas bus strikes: How to get around London in November and December

Passengers wait for a bus  (Jeremy Selwyn)
Passengers wait for a bus (Jeremy Selwyn)

London is preparing for nine more days of bus strikes due to take place in the run-up to Christmas.

The walkouts will involve nearly 1,000 Abellio employees in a dispute over pay, the union Unite said. Parts of south and west London will be affected, including Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth. About 60 bus routes are expected to be disrupted.

Many of the routes affected by strikes will have a reduced service, with some not having any service at all and buses that will be running will be far busier than normal.

As a result of Abellio failing to “enter into meaningful pay talks”, there may not be any buses running during the day from south and west London to and from Heathrow terminals 4 and 5, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Here’s how you can get around London during the planned bus strikes.

How to get around London during bus strikes

The Underground, Elizabeth line and DLR are due to run during the bus strikes but services are expected to be more crowded than usual. There is a planned Overground strike coinciding with one day of the bus strikes, November 26, but it will otherwise be available.

Santander Cycles will be available to rent, though it might be a little harder to get one due to higher demand. Dott, HumanForest, Lime Bikes, TIER and Swapfiets will also be options, as will black cabs and app-based services such as Uber and Bolt.

The Thames Clipper riverboat services run by Uber will be operating so you can enjoy views of the Thames during your commute.

What days are London buses on strike?

The bus drivers are striking on November 25 and 26. This will be followed with seven dates in December: 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Heathrow terminals 4 and 5 may not have access to daytime bus services.