It used to be easy taking the tube at the weekend. You turned up at your local station, caught a train, changed where necessary and duly arrived at the other end. Not any more. London Underground insist on shutting down large chunks of the tube network every weekend 'due to planned engineering works', and every weekend it's a different selection of track. What may look like a simple journey across town can become a nightmare diversionary trek via rail replacement bus services once various line segments have been erased from service.
It's particularly bad this weekend, with track replacement work affecting eight different lines and sufficient alternative travel arrangements to fill a 16-page TfL leaflet. The Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines are closing down yet again between Edgware Road and Liverpool Street, and the good people of Finchley, Barnet and Wanstead have been severed from the network. Tomorrow it gets even worse with additional closures on the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines, as well as Arsenal station going offline for a fortnight. I know that these engineering works have to take place sometime, and that the tube network should be slightly better once they're completed, but do we really need to endure quite so many simultaneous shutdowns?
To assist forward-looking Londoners, the tube website now kindly lists all the planned network closures for the next six months (all 104 of them). It's a rather scary list, so I've thoughtfully summarised it for you in this easy-to-swallow table of weekend tube shutdowns. Every coloured blob indicates a planned weekend closure along part (or all) of a particular line. Now you can arrange to be elsewhere as required (or maybe stick to travelling on the East London line, just to be on the safe side).
What's on this weekend? Spring Into Summer Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 May
40 free guided London walks. Purley Festival Friday 29 - Sunday 5 June
Bunting week, below Croydon. E17 Art Trail Sat 30th May - Sun 14th June
250 arty Walthamstow things.