Starting this weekend, Londoners are in for a week of rail disruption as RMT union members on the London Underground go on a series of strikes. There’ll be little-to-no service on all tube lines from Sunday evening until midday on Friday, plus likely disruption on other services too.
Strikes can be pretty stressful at the best of times – but they’re especially worrisome when you’ve got a flight to catch. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below is all the info you need to know about how to reach London airports during the tube strikes, to make sure you catch your plane on time.
When are the tube strikes in January?
The strikes officially start on January 5, but they’ll have most impact on travellers from Sunday January 7 until Thursday January 11. All passengers being advised to complete tube journeys by 5:30pm on Sunday, while Underground services should be back to normal by midday on Friday January 12.
How to get to Heathrow during the tube strike
Though it’ll be tough to get to Heathrow on the Piccadilly Line, the Elizabeth line won’t be so heavily impacted. It will, however, likely be much busier than usual.
Other options might be to book a coach or catch a bus, and there are several TfL bus routes that run to Heathrow. The 105 goes from Greenford Station, the 111 and 285 go from Kingston, the 278 runs from Ruislip, the 350 goes from Hayes and Harlington Station, the 423 runs from Hounslow, there’s the 482 from Southall, the 490 from Richmond and the A10 and U3 from Uxbridge.
There’s more info about buses to Terminals 2 and 3, 4 and 5 on the TfL website here.
How to get to Gatwick during the industrial action
Gatwick isn’t accessible via the Underground – though major disruption is expected across the capital, there aren’t any planned train strikes for next week.
You might have trouble getting to London hubs that are connected to Gatwick, but trains should be running as usual. Thameslink services to Brighton from London Blackfriars and London Bridge usually journey via Gatwick airport, and the Gatwick Express runs from London Victoria, alongside plenty of Southern services.
National Express coaches also offer regular services to Gatwick airport.
What about the other London airports?
The Stansted Express and the Airport Bus Express from London Liverpool Street station to Stansted Airport should both be running as usual next week, and ‘Pool Street is accessible via the Overground and Elizabeth line. Bus services which stop at or nearby Liverpool Street include the 8, 26, 35, 42, 47, 48, 78, 135, 149, 205, 214, 242, 344, 388, N8, N26 and N205.
Thameslink services to Luton Airport should also be running next week, and they depart from St Pancras. Plenty of bus services run to St Pancras and King’s Cross, and you can have a look at them here.
London City Airport is accessible via the DLR, you can also catch one of these buses.
If you need some more info about how to get across the city during the strikes, you can have a look at our guide here, or use TfL’s handy journey planner. We’ve also got a roundup of everything you need to know about London train and tube strikes throughout January.
Did you see that King’s Cross station is closing for two weekends this month?
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