If Day One of the DLR strike was marked by fog, Day Two (November 4) was more miserable as the rain lashed down. Long queues outside London Bridge were formed beneath a sea of umbrellas. South Quay bridge was another major pinch-point with a one-in-one-out policy.
As Tuesday (November 3) was the first ever strike on the DLR, the rail link that keeps east London moving, no-one was quite sure what impact its loss would have.
Only at the end of the day, with crowds thronging at the Jubilee line, was the impact of the strike most visible and frustrating.
The idea of allowing people (with valid tickets) on the Emirate Air Lines worked and the shuttle between Canning Town and Prince Regent kept hundreds of delegates to the World Travel Market away from the general melee.
Problems were also seen at some of the hub stations – notably Canada Water, which closed for a spell – and, late on in the day, Canary Wharf where the station could not cope well with the numbers. Expect people to leave earlier or later today (Wednesday).
Roads around the Limmo Peninsula were clogged with traffic to the WTM and, as is expected, the Blackwall Tunnel seized up – a silver lining for TfL which is currently consulting on a replacement at Silvertown. On Wednesday, there were tailbacks to the Sun In The Sands roundabout and Kidbrooke interchange.
• Also online: How to get around London during the strike
The buses tried but often failed to meet demand. A combination of people unfamiliar with the buses, congestion on the roads and the small number of people they take (compared to the rail) meant it was a necessary but not wholly practical alternative. Replacement buses along DLR lines were a rare sight.
The inefficiencies of this became apparent at the bus stop at London City Airport where puzzled passengers, with heavy suitcases assailed bus drivers with the most basic of questions ensuring that the one thing that was moving – the buses – were needlessly held up.
The Thames Clippers service was, again, a boon for many and increasingly the first decision Wharfers take when planning their journeys in times of trouble.
While the strike ends overnight, disruption is likely to continue into rush-hour on Thursday (November 5) with TfL suggesting it will take till mid-morning for everything to be back to normal.
Stations expected to be busy at the evening peak are:
- Canada Water
- Canary Wharf
- Canning Town
- London Bridge
- Mile End
- North Greenwich
- West Ham