Christmas travel disruption roundup: What you need to know about rail strikes and London station closures over the festive period

 
Rebecca Smith
Paddington will be affected by upgrade work over Christmas
Paddington station will be affected by upgrade work over Christmas (Source: Network Rail)

With this morning's news of a DLR strike planned for New Year's Eve, Londoners may well be wondering what travel troubles they'll be facing over the festive period.

Well fear not, for here is a roundup of the various engineering works and walkouts planned - along with which days are set to be busiest for travel.

Read more: Merry Christmas everyone: DLR strike set for New Year's Eve

Network Rail closures and service alterations

There are numerous station closures as Network Rail plans major upgrade work across over 260 projects, so it has compiled this calendar to signpost just what's running when:

(Click or tap for full-sized version.)


(Source: Network Rail)

London rail roundup

London Bridge:

  • Southeastern: No rail services running from 23 December to 1 January
  • Southern and Thameslink: No rail services running on 25 & 26 December, some service restrictions on 23 & 24 December and from 27 December - 1 January

Cannon Street:

  • No rail services running from 23 December to 1 January

Charing Cross:

  • No rail services running from 23 December to 1 January

London Euston:

  • No rail services running on 25 & 26 December and some service restrictions on 23 & 24 December, and 1 January

London King's Cross:

  • No rail services running on 25 & 26 December, and some service restrictions on 24 December

London Liverpool Street:

  • No rail services running on 25 December and no rail services except for the Stansted Express on 26 December, with some service restrictions on 23 & 24 December and from 27 December to 1 January

London Paddington:

  • No rail services running from 24-27 December and some service restrictions on 23 and from 28 December to 1 January

London St Pancras International:

  • No rail services running from 25-26 December, and some service restrictions on 23 & 24 and from 27 December to 1 January

London Victoria:

  • No rail services running on 25 December and some service restrictions on 23 and 24 December, and from 26 December to 1 January

London Waterloo:

  • No rail services running on 25 & 26 December and some service restrictions on 23 & 24 December and from 27 December to 1 January

TfL changes over Christmas

Transport for London meanwhile, has said the vast majority of its services will remain open between Saturday 23 December and Monday 1 January, with some service changes due to Christmas operational hours, and essential planned work on some parts of the public transport and road networks.

TfL said taxis will also be charging an extra £4 per journey on some days over the festive period - you can check details on days from 23 December through to New Year's Day here.

TfL roundup

Key service changes:

  • No TfL services on Christmas Day, except for Santander Cycles which are available throughout the Christmas period
  • Changes to frequency and timetable of services during the period, including early finishes on some transport on Christmas Eve - more details on specific timings here
  • On New Year's Eve, there will be free travel between 23:45 - 04:30 on the TfL network

Key closures:

  • No service on TfL Rail from Saturday 23 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018
  • No service between Gospel Oak and Barking from Saturday 18 November to Sunday 14 January 2018
  • Part closure of the District and Circle lines from Sunday 24 to Saturday 30 December
  • No National Rail services to Heathrow airport between Sunday 24 and Wednesday 27 December 2017
  • The A1 Holloway Road will be closed from Monday 18 December 2017 to Monday 8 January 2018

Strikes

The one-day DLR strike for New Year's Eve by the RMT isn't the only walkout planned for the festive period.

The RMT has also announced 24-hour industrial action on Greater Anglia on the 27 December, and on 31 December on South Western Railway in separate rows over the role of the guard.

SWR is putting in place contingency plans, which it said should keep passengers moving if the strike goes ahead, with details of those to be announced.

Greater Anglia meanwhile, said it already had a revised Christmas service in place on Wednesday 27 December, along with alterations due to engineering works. It plans to run that revised service, but will also confirm full details closer to the date.

Meanwhile, the strike action won't be ending anytime soon, as the RMT has announced a batch of new strike dates in January across Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways, Southern and Island Line services.

When to travel

If you have any choice in when you can get away on any Christmas travels this year, the date to avoid looks to be Friday 22 December.

The RAC has dubbed it "Frantic Friday", expecting roads to be the most congested then, with 1.25m leisure journeys racked up as last-day commuters cross paths with drivers heading home for Christmas.

Separately, transport analytics firm Inrix forecasts the busiest days for traffic to be Wednesday 20 December to Friday 22 December. Here's a roundup of the routes and times expected to be busiest for travel.

Read more: This is going to be the busiest day for flights at Gatwick over Christmas

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