Effects of Tube Strikes on Journey Times in Transport Network of London

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, place - europe


strikes, impacts, London Underground, travel time, delays


The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of five underground strikes on journey times in London's transport network during 2009 and 2010. The main data source for this study was automatic number plate recognition cameras, which were installed on the entrances and exits of 670 travel links that covered the vast majority of the network and were equivalent to a total length of 1,740 km. The determination of spatiotemporal differences of strike effects between the first and the remaining strike days, the identification of changes in departure and arrival times, and the estimation of travel time delays within central, inner, and outer London, as well as between inbound and outbound traffic, were the main objectives of the study. The total travel time within the examined areas, the excess delay, and the corresponding percentage difference in journey times were the main performance measurements used. The most significant results showed that the second day of strikes resulted in significant delays as opposed to the first strike days. The peaks elongated by approximately 45 to 60 min, while the unique full-day strike had the highest percentage increase in travel times, especially during the evening period (74%). Central London was generally affected the most, especially during the morning peak, which experienced an average increase in travel times of 35%, while Central London also had the highest percentage of negatively affected links (80%). The inbound traffic experienced, on average, high delays during the morning peak; the outbound traffic yielded greater delays during the evening period.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.