“This train is being held at a red signal” – a statement that’ll make any Londoner tut louder than usual, but the news of major stations and routes set to close for ten days is likely to greatly impact many traveling around the festive period.
The affected lines include: Paddington, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Charing Cross – journeys to Gatwick and Heathrow Airport will also be cancelled or have their timetables revised.
One Twitter user was surprisingly pleased about the news:
“Great so we won’t have to listen how great London is when ppl come home for xmas” – @JlairdP
During December 23rd to the 28th, Paddington station will be closed completely – affecting services to Gatwick Airport – with some services re-routing through Marylebone.
Londoners are very much used to delays, but apps such as ‘Citymapper’ provides immediate up to date routes and prices when your usual routes let you down.
Just saw one of those traffic warning signs which simply said – "LONDON: Expect delays". ……yep
— indie niall (@Sam_Lambeth) October 22, 2017
But it’s not just the commuters that’ll be facing problems, it’s the staff too.
Dipali Limbachia, 20, former staff member at Gatwick Airport told the Voice of London: “This will cause major disruption at Arrivals in Gatwick. The one’s to suffer will be the staff, when customer’s are in a rush and flustered, staff are subject to all kinds of abuse, from slamming magazines down onto the counter and leaving, to throwing newspapers at the cashier’s face.”
Liverpool Street will be facing major disruption during the same ten day period as the Greater Anglia services will not be running.
If you’re planning a big family Christmas, make sure you plan your journeys ahead to avoid un-pulled crackers and empty seats at the dinner table.
Words: Charlotte Racher | Subbing: Michael Ward