please empty your brain below

I can’t wait until we have driverless vehicles and strikes like this are a thing of the past!

Oh, wait...
Last night my daughter took two hours to get home after the TfL journey planner connection at Whitechapel failed to materialise, and she ended up arriving at Victoria as her train departed.

Generally, service frequency collapses after 10:00pm (should not be for another hour), but if you can't rely on electronic information for 20 minutes into the future on a normal day, what chance is there of anything on a strike day. At least the staff were trying.
Three weeks ago, when trains got stuck for several hours at Lewisham in icy conditions, it was the lack of information that impelled passengers to force open the train doors and walk across the tracks.

Sadly the same unwillingness to give useful information seems to infect the whole of London's transport system, this DLR disruption being just the latest example.
North Greenwich bus station in the afternoon/ evening was a nightmare yesterday! I support the strike though.
Well if the RMT keep up their strikes, the dlr will soon have a standard timetable they know they can run! Northern Railway have had so many strikes, they have got it down to a tee!
This morning, rather than saying 'There are currently no major line disruptions reported on the network', the Status updates map says...

...which is less false, but no more helpful.

9:30am update: And now back to saying 'There are currently no major line disruptions reported on the network' again, when there absolutely are.
An interesting survey of the (in)effectiveness of arrangements to deal with the strike.

The BBC news website give what appears to be (and perhaps is) a "balanced" account of the reasons for the strike and the management response to it. A strike is not just one of those things that just happens. It occurs for a reason.
Staff don't deal with 'non-normal' stuff on a daily basis - so it's hardly surprising that things fall apart when it happens, as has been mentioned Northern Rail do quite well simply because 'non-normal' stuff is now normal.
The TfL journey planner's ludicrous "bus-only" suggestion which demands a longer walk than its own "walk-only" suggestion surely requires urgent attention. Is there no "sanity check" built in? I have not observed the "traveline" site suggest anything as stupid (though that does not prove that it does not, of course).
A large number of Tube stations have poster printers that will print centrally-sent posters for speedy display.
This will only work if: 1) the staff are notified of a poster being sent through (the printers are often in secluded rooms); and 2) if there are enough staff to dispatch said posters to other nearby stations.
Either way, there could probably have been better information certainly at Tube stations in the vicinity.
I’m sure the DLR have a similar system but if they’re the guys on strike, there’s probably nobody to sort the poster distribution out.

dg writes: From what I saw at Canning Town and West Ham, tube stations had older, less useful posters than plain DLR stations.
I note in the Comments (moans) about loss of service on the DLR no reference to the rights of staff to withdraw their labour nor to their reasons for doing so. Passengers are rightly irritated with the loss of service, but do they consider that there might be a connection between staff grievances and the competence of the (privatised) service management .......?
No coverage of the strike in the Daily Mail. They usually love crucifying the RMT, ASLEF and so forth. All that "greedy drivers" rhetoric... I wonder why they haven't so much as published a single word this time?
@Malcolm - Funnily enough, Traveline South East, Anglia, East Midlands and West Midlands use the same backend software that the old TfL Journey Planner did, which I believe is supplied by HaCon and used extensively in Europe.

Plugging Canary Wharf to Poplar into Traveline for today gives just one result, which is to walk between the two. The TfL Journey Planner is still as useless as reported in the post.
The Dangleway yesterday was offering (unpublicised) free travel. Haven't yet seen if that also applies today. A colleague nearly went home that way then realised that his onward travel plans involved using the DLR...
I have a feeling that those who go on strike are the relatively more sensible and organized ones in the operation team.
Good grief! What a palaver!!
Does anyone have quick contact details for TFL so that one can make complaints and point out the poor job they are doing in advising the public of travel problems. I'm tired of emailing and getting no reply or phoning and not getting through to a human being. Rail companies in modern Britain are obviously no longer making the effort to interact with their customers and tell them what is happening to services.

dg writes:
» Feedback to TfL about trains
» Feedback to TfL about buses

If what the RMT say on their website are the principal reasons for the strike is correct it seems to me that they have legitimate grievances.
Saw two Routemasters on the 277 route yesterday, thought I'd entered a crack in time till I remembered the strike.
We had a flight to catch from City airport this morning. Citymapper did offer the DLR as an option, but with a caveat that it wasn't actually running and its live departure boards were displaying the regular timetable in lieu of live data.

However, I'd seen the DLR tweet about possible service from Canning Town, and checked the live departures page, which was showing a train every few minutes. So we headed down there on the Jubilee line and got to the airport faster than usual. There were plenty of staff about (the majority clearly drafted in from elsewhere in TfL) and the ticket office at the airport station was open.

Plan B was to get a 474 - I was a little disappointed not to have a chance to get a Routemaster in regular service, but we'd probably have missed our flight as Silvertown was pretty much gridlocked with minicabs.
The 199 could've been boosted too as a link between Lewisham, Elverson Road, Greenwich, Cutty Sark and the Jubilee line at Canada Water. Rail replacement buses would've made a lot more sense though as used successfully in the summer of DLR upgrades pre Olympics. Not that either would've been much use on Wed eve as traffic was heavy and buses entirely absent, luckily I wasn't carrying out DG's experiment so walked instead.
@ Brian - I would cast the net of responsibility slightly wider. TfL are not an uninvolved party. They set the contract requirements, they forced a deal at a price which means Keolis / Amey are seemingly under pressure. I assume Serco, the previous operator, couldn't match the bid price and look where we've ended up. There were strikes threats under Serco but no actual strikes as agreements were reached.

I've looked at the list of RMT concerns and it's pretty damning. There are some serious looking issues and even if you were to be uncharitable and ignore 50% of them there are some very dubious things going on to try to squeeze more effort at less or no cost from the workforce. I'm not surprised the workforce are unhappy and there's been a vote for strike action.

As for the passenger info cock-ups then colour me not surprised given how many staff have been booted out of TfL. This is what happens when you run departments on minimal numbers. Things don't get done when there are additional pressures above the normal workload.
Considering the technology available now, the handling of information is pure incompetent bungling. My only theory for why TfL would have any grounds for denying this may be that accurate information would lead to the available alternatives being even more overwhelmed by crowding... so best keep people confused and ignorant.

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