please empty your brain below

Excellent. We're off to London this weekend so I'll check out the new map, even though from your descriptions I don't think we would be affected.

Yes, weekend travel for me often finds me having to take a different route to get the same place. I have got into the habit of checking the tfl website before the weekend. Also the national rail site as they also have work on suburban lines at the weekends.

A lot more people seem to use public transport at weekends nowadays, especially Sunday.

No doubt all public transport will be shut down for Christmas, (so more maintenance work can be done) leaving people like me without a car stuck at home.

You could have got a number 11 bus to Liverpool street & carried on from there.

There's been a map for at least 20 months, they have been emailing it to me every thursday since April 2007.

For example:

Beware of the weekly email.

While it is very good and I like it a lot - there is no way to unsubscribe from the newsletter, other than phoning up customer care and asking them to manually removing you from the list.

As someone who has a background in email marketing, I contacted them when they launched to warn them that this was actually illegal under UK email laws - but rather than simply adding an unsubscribe link as you would expect - they checked with their lawyers and came back to me to let me know that the message is considered a "service message", and not marketing and hence they don't have to offer an opt-out.

Now, I don't plan to unsubscribe as I like the email - but the attitude about dealing with unhappy customers alarmed me.

It alarmed me a lot.

I gave up catching public transport on weekends a while ago now. I just drive around instead, normally out of London.

Yes I know you think I'm a pox on humanity but frankly I don't care. After hearing about a friend's journey from the Isle of Dogs to Kensington Olympia last weekend (smarginally worse than your trip) I don't regret it one bit.

The same thing has happened on the trains too. A few years ago there was engineering work on a limited number of Sundays. Then it increased to cover a larger percentage of Sundays. Now it regularly disrupts services on Saturdays and Sundays. Now weekdays during quieter perioud (e.g. between Christmas and New Year or school holidays) are also ofen impacted by work. I have no idea why (probably cost cutting), but it is very annoying.

Surely on the map, it should be the bits that *aren't* working that are greyed out? The universal computer UI visual cue for 'not available'? No? Just me?

That's a nice feature, although, similar to Larry Lard points out above, it might be nice to have a map that clearly shows only what IS running over the weekend. Here in New York, our MTA also has a lot of weekend closures for various construction, and a graphical representation would be very helpful.

@IanVisits - I still get the weekly email, despite the fact that it's totally irrelevant to me now. I had vaguely noticed that I couldn't unsubscribe, but I quite like getting it (sort of like hearing the wind howling in the chimney when you are warm and snug indoors) so I don't mind.

I would have thought that putting in an unsubscribe option would be quicker and cheaper than consulting their lawyers. But then they probably follow best practice IT maintenance procedures, in which case, maybe not.

You could have gone Embankment, Waterloo, West Ham, Bow, no? Slightly round the houses, I guess. How about Victoria, Oxford Circus, Mile End? Difficult if the Victoria Line was closed too...

dg writes: Yup. The former, exactly that.

Usually they're not too bad about multiple line closures e.g. if the Central Line's closed Leytonstone-Liverpool St, the Jubilee will be open b/w Stratford and North Greenwich and vice versa. I think it's quite fun working out how to get somewhere, especially if you can do it in your head. Mind you, I don't use the thing every day of the week.

Random station closures are the ones that annoy me, because they don't mention them until the end of the message when you ring up. So although the line might be working...

Hurrah - I was wondering if I could get back to a hotel from Shepherd's Bush next weekend, and the computer says yes! The PDF just said blah blah blah...

On Sat I wanted to go Bow Road - Waterloo. First of all no District beyond Whitechapel, but worse the usually augmented Hammersmith & City via Liverpool St was off too. So I decided it would be Central Line from Mile End to Bank then Waterloo & City, only to find out that the latter was suspended too. Final route was DLR from Bow Church to Canary Wharf, but in this case neither was running in east London. The TFL advertised route was via Leicester Square which frankly was so long-winded I gave up on the whole idea. And despite all this are the delays and failures really getting any less frequent?

Tell me about it, try working on the Underground and sorting out which PA has to be set up, a few weeks back nine of the lines were out so that was a bit of a bitch.

But at least we're getting better

Excellent. I didn't even realise TfL had these maps on their website. These will be very handy for checking whether there are any problems on the tube when I head home from work.

I'm still wondering though when they're going to finish those engineering works at Bank. The escalator refurbishment works do make things more difficult (yes, I know I should probably avoid Bank, but the alternative routes are often slower and more inconvenient).

Also, why is it that they always seem to do work at Covent Garden? I'm often there, and there always seems to be some sort of refurbishment going on. At least it's no longer exit only as it was up until last year.

The question is, why is the Jubilee line closing every weekend when it's only 8 years old?

Because to open it "on time" in 1999, they had to put in old signalling. It's now being ripped out and replaced by new gear which is supposed to vastly improve the line.

Unfortunately, these closures are coinciding with the DLR upgrades, and in one particularly dim-witted weekend, closures of the rail lines through Greenwich and Blackheath...

This reminds me of why I am currently staying in Mexico City rather than move home to least here it is functioning chaos...which functions pretty well actually!

This all goes to show that the 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' game of 'Mornington Crescent' is alive and well, despite the departure of Chairman Humph.

My entry is Sloane Square - Earls Court - Notting Hill Gate - Mile End - Bow for last Saturday, dg.

I took this snap a couple of years ago in New York of the kind of information they have about closures - it was much the same when I was there earlier this summer. I think TfL are definitely on the right track with their posters, websites and email alerts.

Incidentally, the Service Updates RSS feed (there's another way they can tell us what's wrong) has just told me that my local station will be closing at 7pm on New Year's Eve again.

You mentioned the closure of the Jubbly over Easter but didn't mention it's closure over Xmas - Entire line shut 25th - 28th Dec. Sneeky of TfL to include it in the Metropolitan line closure.

Wait till next year. I think it's the first 6 Sundays of 2009 that there are no trains *at all* (stoppers or main line) between Liverpool St and Shenfield (local pax to use the Central line and assorted bus connections or the 86 or 25 bus!) and also, in a brilliant bit of co-ordination, no District line east of Barking on most of these weekends either (although the LT&S, sorry, c2c, line will be open). Dagenham will be virtually cut off from civilisation!!

Not so bad for you zone 2-ites, but a real pain for us in the 'burbs.

I actually walked out of South Ken today as I was worried by the number of people trying to get down the escalators and onto the trains. Now, I love London and I'm sure I will be back but hearing that people aren't allowed down into the station for Health and Safety probably isn't the best advertisement for our capital city....

I get those midweek reminders but still get caught out occasionally, when a small section of useful line is closed. There's always a way around but it does mess up travel time calculations.

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