The Great Transport Armageddon

BC made it home last night on Shanks' Pony. Our all-seeing intelligence sources tell us that London Bridge Station was chaos, with trains at a standstill nearly all evening. The roads were nearly gridlocked, so bus transport took hours.

How did everyone else get on?

68 comments:

Lizzie said...

I decided not to go anywhere near London Bridge - work sent me off at 5pm from Oxford Circus to try and get home, and 2 hours and 15 minutes later, I arrived in New Cross Gate. The Old Kent Road was an utter nightmare; I could have walked it quicker.

Remka said...

considering myself lucky... bus from shoreditch to london bridge at snail pace and after waiting for 40 min or so managed to catch train. Jampacked one.

Brockley Kate said...

Took me two hours to walk from London Bridge to Brockley, down the Old Kent Road. Wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be.

david said...

rode the bicycle as always - was "slightly" slippery in places (and had to walk it up some hills as the ice just resulted in wheels spinning) and sometimes a bit exciting when car drivers forgot that they and I needed a bit more space than normal. Still, much better than public "transport".

Anonymous said...

Trains were fine by 8pm, running a bit late, but not too bad

Hugh said...

Cycled home last night down Tooley Street then Jamaica Road, at which point I turnd back to get a train from London Bridge. Even in central London there had been no gritting during the day and I was sh*tting myself.

Took an early train in and was disappointed that it wasn't even delayed as I'd dressed especially and was sort of hoping I'd have to yomp all the way to Bank past stranded motorists and sardine-packed trains.

I guess the Great Poodle in the Sky was looking out for me.

Anonymous said...

Worked from home. I commute to Slough / Langley. Pretty much guaranteed that London transport cant function with snow.

Ed said...

18.40 Canary Wharf, Jubilee Line
19.00 London Bridge, Lack of trains, drivers and information as well as points out so Northern Line to
19.30 Elephant and Castle
20.30 453 bus to New Cross after watching packed buses go past and a speeding gritter showering the huge queue with grit!
21.00 Hilly route too dangerous to walk so Goldsmiths and Shardeloes route
21.30 HOME for dinner

BrockleyBiker said...

Tired to get my bike (motorbike) up Gellatly and Drakefell. Couldn't due to the amaount of ice. Abandoned it in a side street.

It was mental around there. Severe ice and gridlock.

kinglard said...

4.30pm entered pub in Soho
11pm left pub, got cab from Charing Cross no problem!

b. said...

cycled through the ice / gridlock. took 1hr 30 mins. usually takes 25.
AND it was no fun. AT ALL.

but probably more fun than the LB debacle.

Hugh said...

Remind me what our Council Tax is spent on.

Anonymous said...

Silly things the conservation people ask for.

Transpontine said...

Walking the dog round T.Hill 8ish quite a few roads were blocked by cars unable to make it up hill past the ice, cars floating by without the wheels turning (especially on Drakefell and Kitto), minor collisions etc. Spoke to a van driver stuck in traffic and he said it had taken him 4 hours to get there from central London.

Crofton Park Ranger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crofton Park Ranger said...

Drinks till 10pm near paddington.
Tube to Charing X.
Burger.
Train to Lon Bridge. (No wait woo hoo!)
Train to HOP. (No wait woo hoo!)
Walked home like a drunk penguin.

Tamsin said...

But to given 'em their due - Friday morning when we were toddling off in the car at 8am for a funeral in Gloucestershire everything had already been salted and gritted and the roads were clear.

On the matter of the funeral - I love country churches (irrespective of the god/poodle debate) - just look at the paganism in the carvings over the door.
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JtkFz23RXD8/SGECikjurPI/AAAAAAAAAMo/q1pGUWp22Xs/s400/elkstone7.bmp&imgrefurl=http://sydneythehoundofheaven.blogspot.com/2008/06/elkstone-church-of-st-john.html&usg=__Fh8FM8WSer3Ld54iSWPv1hNXOHA=&h=301&w=400&sz=34&hl=en&start=3&sig2=Mk5wrZy1_jboV7WW7oGLKQ&tbnid=VKu8TYU1BWxpvM:&tbnh=93&tbnw=124&prev=/images%3Fq%3DElkstone%2Bchurch%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN&ei=R7YwS9H0IOCJ4gaVp8yqCA

Pete said...

I cycled home, traffic on the Old Kent Road was terrible and it was a bit slippy in places but mostly fine. Riding through the conservation area was a bit dicey with the roads still covered in snow so I took my time.

Once I got to Hilly Fields I decided to be a bit naughty and cycled across the snow covered grass over to the ladywell side of the park and then walked the rest of the way home. The last bit was actually quite good fun.

I did stay in the office until 7:30 though so the snow had largely melted.

drakefell debaser said...

I decided to leave work early at around 2ish. Spent the early evening with a bottle of red watching cars struggling to get over the speed humps on drakefell rd, counting my lucky stars.

Other half rode her bike from Camden like a champion. Her sense of humour was on empty by the time she got to Brockley though.

Ben said...

Having missed all weather warnings I decided 4pm on Monday was the optimum time to stock up on cranberries and sprouts so pootled over to Sainsbury's in New Cross. Was caning it down by the time I arrived but the journey there was OK and the shopping went like a dream. It then took me over two hours to cover the quarter mile back to Endwell Road. The car and the cranberries still haven't made it.

I wandered back to the car a bit later to see if it could be moved only to find a jack-knifed bendy-bus completely off-route halfway up Vesta Road. Genius.

mintness said...

Ed - DLR next time then?!

BrockleyBiker said...

@ drakefell debaser

Ah, so you must have been one of the audience enjoying the street theatre.

I'd like to say thank you to the two members of the audience, pub side, who helped me pick my bike up and into a parking space. Trying to lift 200kg of bike whilst standing on ice is not exactly something one can do on your tod.

Gaz said...

After 1 1/2 hours at London Bridge, I went to a mates house round the corner, drank a bottle of wine and slept on his sofa. At work today in the same clothes. Classy.

Tamsin said...

Just been chatting to the LBL caretaker of the building where I work who came along with his car, a shovel and some personal bags of grit to deal with our front forecourt and is now off to another Centre where there is a funeral this afternoon to make sure they are going to be OK. Took him two hours to get home yesterday evening and, by what I gather, he was part of the Drakefell Road street theatre.

Talking to him and comparing Friday and yesterday - what seems to have been the trouble is the timing of the snowfall. Friday the snow was overnight and so the gritting lorries had a clear run of things from three in the morning when they were all tee-ed up to start (I heard a snippet on the radio about the preparations and reassurance that plans were in place to get these key workers in position when needed). On Monday it came down in the middle of the afternoon and everyone who had driven into work decided at the same time that they needed to get home - and so the salter/gritters that would have alleviated the situation were caught up in the same grid-lock.

Anonymous said...

tip for ya - if you make it to London Bridge - hop the 47 bus to lewisham - Simples

Beecroftian said...

Took the train home from City Thameslink which was only 10 mins late and then walked through the fron door 25 minutes later. Far too easy!

jippy said...

The main difficulty was working out what option to choose: stay at LB for train or work something else out?

I'd arrived at LB when the snow was driving down, with people pouring in and barely any trains leaving. I hadn't checked the weather reports so had no idea how long the snow would last (no smartphone to hand). So I figured if it's going to continue, public transport being what it is, it's better to head home and take things in my own hands rather than rely on Southern, there were thoughts of just sitting the snow out in a pub though.

I took the 21 from LB, it started out ok, but got tangled up on the Old Kent road, and the bus was so so slowl people got frustrated started ringing the bell like mad. Then, some guy went a bit Michael Douglas in Falling down, and opened the emergency exit people to the door. The driver started cussing and saying there'll be no compensation if you slip and break your back. I started laughing cos it was the old' 'don't come running to me if you break both your legs' scenario.

I got off the but at the next scheduled stop with the intention of getting the 453 I could see ahead. I trundled through, slipping and sliding much of the way down the old kent road. Got on that bus, again snail's pace. Watching cyclists dismounting and walking, and willing the bus lane to appear. After the Kender street part of OKR things picked up pace wise.
I got to New Cross Gate hoping the trains would be back on stream but the information system was useless. So I walked to Brockley from Goldsmiths, via St Donatts? road wasn't too bad, mostly snow not sludge and ice on the pavement.

The road leading to Brockley Cross was jam packed solid, I trundled past 4 buses and I was so happy not be stuck in car despite having cold and soaked feet.

Got home around 6.50 pm having left work 4.10pm

Tamsin said...

What route does the 47 bus take? Don't recall seeing one.

It goes all around the houses but there is the 343 from London Bridge as well. Goes through the Honor Oak estate and up Pepys Road to the roundabout. Just make sure you get off it before it starts sliding down Jerningham!

Gaz said...

I should clarify. My 1 1/2 hours at LB were made up as follows: 1/2 hour in train station squashed up against a wall. 1 hour running (Slipping, sliding, skating)between 343 & 47 bus stops. No 343turned up at all and the two 47's had people hanging out of the window like an Indian intercity train.

Brockley Jon said...

I braved the bike. Started off well, the city was okay, but as soon as I got to Peckham it turned nasty - ice rink style. I only fell off once though, but I've never been so cold on the bike. Lost contact with my fingers, and took me almost 2 hours.

The 47 goes round the back to the bottom end of Lewisham Way doesn't it? The no. 21 is a better bet for you conservation area cats as it goes all the way along Lewisham Way.

Anonymous said...

You fell off your bike!?! yikes!

Jippy said...

I thought about the 47 the walk up Friendly is the footwear I had wasn't going to work.

Jippy said...

*Friendly Street

Tressilliana said...

I was safely at home. My son, however, was in Bromley buying my Christmas present. He left the Glades just as the snow started and with commendable presence of mind decided to forget the buses once he saw how bad the traffic was, and walked from Bromley to Brockley. It took him about an hour and a half.

The crossroads of Tressillian Road, Montague Avenue and Hilly Fields Crescent was a bit hairy.

Brockley Kate said...

Sounds as though I walked past some of you on bikes and buses - I passed at least 6 172s and several 21s as well.

drakefell debaser said...

BrockleyBiker

Yes, not on the pub side though which must have been far worse given the steep hill there.

Down my end it was every driver for himself. The impatient tried overtaking the stuck cars but ended up getting stuck too, often in the face of oncoming traffic. Then the hooting started, which always helps to clear away snow and ice, and the cussing and waving of fist etc..

Thankfully there was one of the mobile shit disco cars there to provide the beats.

Anonymous said...

Just off the subject for a mo,how did the Redeemed Church overtake the Orchard and the Talbot In the poll,act of god maybe ?

M said...

Co-ordinated Facebook campaign?
It's all the rage...

mintness said...

And it's clearly the Rage Against The Machine of the poll.

Brockley Jon said...

@anon, it was really more of a "controlled slide" I'd like to think ;) Speeds were so slow for everyone, there wasn't really any chance of damage being done!

glasswasher said...

I never thought Id see the day when a Church was more popular than a drinking establishment.

M said...

It's actually either the God-botherers in the church itself getting wind of the poll or the type of people that make mung comments being terribly 'wacky'.

Ed said...

Is it going to be as bad today? I might see if I can leave early or check the DLR out as suggested above.

P.S. Hilarious poll turnaround; definitely represents the views of BCers! Perhaps the flock have been told to get involved or some scamp is fiddling with their IP and rigging it...

Hugh said...

Funny thing is the DLR seems to operate whatever the weather.

The DLR doesn't have drivers - could that be a related fact?

praise the pint said...

the poll has been hijacked by poodle following zombies.

People of Brockley, call upon your friends to vote for an establishment that serves alcohol!

Hugh said...

Another big shout for the DLR. The only guaranteed way to get to work if you earn your corn in the City.

Ed said...

Last time I did the DLR route a hoody stole the cigarette from my mouth after I refused to give him one! [I know I shouldn't be smoking, rather a cigarette than my phjone/watch etc. I guess]

484 to Brockley or walk?

Brockley Nick said...

M - i reckon the people who crack "mung" jokes can be counted on one hand, so it's not them.

Camilla said...

Gosh I was stuck in the car gridlock for hours, every short cut I attempted was blocked, I left Asda on OKR 16.30 got home 19.00 but that was only because I ended up parking the car and walked home to Breakspears Rd. God knows if I had driven all the way what time i'd been home? I walked past a bus that had slipped on Harefield rd and stopped in an angle and blocked the road. All local roads I saw was snarled up with traffic. What a day!

Anonymous said...

i've removed my zany madcap vote for the redeemists. I've never knowingly made a mung joke though. Which pigeonhole does that put me in, I wonder?

Monkeyboy said...

I think the establishments selling the Devils Party Potion have split the piss head vote, allowing the smaller candidate to dominate. The classic SDP/Liberal mistake of the 1980's

Anonymous said...

I arrived at london bridge at 6pm to find a throng of people at a closed gate-having returned from Aylesbury via Chiltern trains running through much deeper snow!. I was amazed that the station was closed because of the measly amount of snow ...until I tried to get a bus -when one eventually turned up he was only going for one stop! So I joined the walkers for the hike back to Brockley -which was ok if a little difficult inderfoot in places until I got to Drakefell Road which was a very dangerous place to be for walkers and motorists alike-with many vehicles sliding backwards in attempts to make the hill-this was a travesty ! ...and someone should be answerable -Why oh Why was such a dangerous and difficult hill not gritted as a priority?-I grew up in the North East of England and experienced much worse conditions but also fortunately a much more appropriate response from local authorities who knew which roads to prioritise! I eventually got back home to Brockley around 8-30 glad to be safe and sound - but very angry!

Anonymous said...

Got on at South Ken at 5.15. Got to Westminster to get Jubilee line, saw there was a ten minute wait for the first one so went back onto the District line, went to Monument and crossed over London Bridge for the station. After about half an hour saw it was a fruitless exercise, got a refund for my ticket, walked back across the bridge and got the DLR. Thought I'd treat myself to a taxi as by this time I was cold, wet and generally fed up. Taxi queue the longest I'd ever seen it. So I walked back. Total journey time 3 hours ten mins.

Tamsin said...

@anon 17.25 - but presumably the gritters can at least get to those priority roads.

A wrong decision was probably taken not to grit on the strength of meterorogical information and two or three hours in advance of the snowfall. Once it had started and the roads suddenly became jammed with cars (and it was sudden - they seemed to spring out of no-where) it was too late. The gritter lorries were equally immobilised.

There will hopefully be debate in the relevant quarters about how to change the way things are done next time.

Anonymous said...

There should be an airbourne service - a plane could go overhead and shower SE4 with artisan salts. You'd get it done in next to no time, which probably means someone will say it's a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

How does the Snow Plough driver get to work ?

Tamsin said...

One has rather nice visions of them taking their snow ploughs home with them - rather like the army lad who when he was first given a tank to drive set off home in it to show his mum.

The fact that there were plans in place to get them to work was stated in the radio interview I heard on the issue of general preparedness last Thursday - but the interviewer did not press for details.

Maybe a criterion for the job is that you live in walking distance or else they are put in B&Bs or hostels when trouble is expected. Far more rational than putting up "crucial" city workers (sorry, HH, I know they are your clientele) in five star London hotels at the company's expense.

Anonymous said...

3hrs from Bond St Tube!

Mental with shoppers at Bond St, no trains out of London bridge, walked to old kent road. Got a bus to new cross which took an hour then had to walk the rest of the way as the 343 wasn't going over Telegraph Hill!

patrick1971 said...

I was very lucky, got to Charing Cross at about 1710, completely mobbed, no trains. Interestingly, the station staff had shut the doors to two entrances but left the other one open, making it even more dangerously packed in.

Checked on the iPhone and saw that trains were running from Elephant & Castle. Jumped on the Bakerloo Line down there and walked up to the platform. Crofton Park train announced as being "8 carriages". Arrived 2 mins later as 4 carriages (why on earth say it's 8 carriages when you must know it's not?!). Managed to squeeze on. It was like a sauna, I must have lost a stone in sweat. Got to Crofton Park without further incident.

Very lucky compared with some of you.

Brockley Kate said...

Patrick - you must have been there at the same time as me! I nearly got crushed in the crowds trying to get out of the station, at the same time as tons of people were trying to pile in. Why on earth the staff had most of the doors shut, god only knows. It became actively scary at one point, being crushed and nearly trampled.

Jippy said...

So what have we learned from this experience?

For me; it's get a smartphone or phone with radio so I can tune into local stations.

Southern trains have no resilience for when things go wrong.

patrick1971 said...

How are people's pavements? Even though it's now a bit warmer, Chudleigh Road's pavements are still an ice rink; the walk home from Ladywell Station to Manwood Road is perilous. Fell over myself yesterday.

thucydides said...

and the roads. don't forget the state of the roads. full of potholes now after November's deluges they are.

Tamsin said...

Yesterday was thawing steadily. There were very pretty frozen puddles in the gutters of Malyons Road on the way into work (where the water was slightly oily - I took photos) but they were melted on the way back. However pavements still icy in patches so I walked in the road.

Generally, though all seems melted - particularly with this morning's rain.

fabhat said...

Still some icy patches on Breakspears and Ashby road - so be careful after the christmas eve drinking tonight...

fabhat said...

Apparently there is more snow expected for London and SE tomorrow and weds...

Anonymous said...

The snow's ok,Its when Its not gritted so allowed to turn to Ice

fabhat said...

Grit definitely helps anon - I find the snow, let alone ice, pretty slippery to walk on at the moment. Being heavily pregnant my balance is a little compromised to start with...

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