London Tube Strikes Set Through November

August 26, 2010 on 9:21 pm | In London, London travel, ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, strikes, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

The staff of the London Underground are going to strike in September, October and November. At present strikes are set for September 6, October 3 and November 28. Some of the strikes will initiate at 1700 on the dates set and run for 24-hours, while other unions will start their strikes on the same dates, but not until 2100 hours (for 24-hours). Strikes of the forecast magnitude will cause considerable difficulties for those seeking transit services in London on these dates. For more details see this article by SkyNews.

Although the strikes will be only be of a day’s duration, they will cause chaos in London. If you will be in London on any of these dates, be prepared to hoof it, as the buses will be overwhelmed with passengers. Of course, some planned strikes never materialize and we can only hope that a settlement will be reached soon.

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British Airways, Safe for Now?

June 27, 2010 on 10:35 am | In London travel, UK Travel, air travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel news | 1 Comment

According to the Wall Street Journal, Unite, the union representing the cabin crews at British Airways have decided to postpone a vote on further strike action against the airline in order to consider a new offer from BA.

It still remains possible that the BA crews will strike in August, but the airline has taken various steps that they believe will allow them to operate all longhaul flights, as well as a substantial portion of the shorhaul flights from London Heathrow.

If you plan of flying British Airways during the next month or two, be sure to check with the airline to determine that you reservations are still intact.

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More Air Strikes in Europe

March 18, 2010 on 1:53 pm | In France Travel, ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, air travel, portugal travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

There are so many airline strikes popping up that you need to scorecard to keep track of the action. Both British Airways and Air France are to be struck by trade unions starting March 28 and lasting through the 31st. Portuguese pilots are scheduled to be on strike from March 26 to March 31, making quite a run-up to the Easter weekend. For more information than you will likely want to know about these strikes and their potential, see this detailed article from the Telegraph.

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Snow In Southeast England

February 12, 2010 on 8:00 am | In ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, United Kingdom, things travelers need to know, travel weather warning | Comments Off

Snow and drifting wind have made travel in Kent and Sussex, England difficult today. Eurotunnel Freight services have been suspended, although Eurostar trains are running, they are behind schedule. For more information, see this article in the Telegraph.

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Britain Raises Terror Threat Level

January 24, 2010 on 9:29 pm | In Europe travel, London, London travel, Terrorism and travel, ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, United Kingdom, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

The goverment of the United Kingdom has raised the country’s Terror Threat Classifcation from Substantial to Severe. The Severe ranking indicates that an attack is highly likely. The reason for the increase in classiciation is that a government meeting on Yemen and Afghanistan is being held in London next week. Although there is not intelligence that an attack is being planned, the government is being cautious and indicating that an attack is likely. See this article in the Gulf Times for more information.

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Train Strike in Southeast England

December 10, 2009 on 2:14 pm | In UK Travel, United Kingdom, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

On December 28th the drivers of trains in the south of the United Kingdom will be on strike over a pay dispute for “Bank Holidays”. It is likely that the strike will paralyze train traffic in the South and Southeast of England. Click for more information from an article in the UK’s Independent.

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Abbey Road and the Beatles Turn 40

August 7, 2009 on 7:34 am | In London, London travel, ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, United Kingdom, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

If you are a Beatles fan, take a look at this article from the BBC on the 40th anniversary (this Saturday) of the Abbey Road Album and its endearing cover.

Abbey Road and the “zebra” crossing continue to attract large numbers of visitors, who queue-up and parade across the cross walk as was done by the Beatles for the cover of the Abbey Road album, their last. The street is very busy, so if you do this make sure there is a break in the traffic.

For more information on Abbey Road, see the ThereArePlaces London Guide for a map and other information.

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French Fishing Strike Cancelled

April 16, 2009 on 7:30 am | In Europe travel, France Travel, London travel, Normandy, UK Travel, strikes, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

The French Fishermen whose strike had closed the ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne earlier this week have called off their strike action effective immediately.  Ferry service from Dover to these port has resumed and is slowly returning to normal. The proposed strike action against the Eurostar  has also been cancelled.

While this is good news for travelers, it appears that “negotiations” between the fishmermen and the government of France are ongoing.  It is a time honored tradition in France to strike when the government does not come through with the goods and many expect the situation with the fishermen to be a potential hotspot for some time to come (at least, until a settlement is agreed).  For now, however, you can take the ferry to or from the Continent.

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Dover Ferry Halted by French Fishing Fleet Strike

April 15, 2009 on 7:32 am | In Europe travel, France, France Travel, London travel, Normandy, UK Travel, strikes and travel | Comments Off

The P&O ferry from Dover to Calais, a popular route between the UK and  Europe, has cancelled its scheduled runs due a blockade by French fishing boats at the port of Calais.   In addition, the strike has now closed the ports of Boulogne and Dunkirk. The French fishermen are locked in a dispute with the EU over fishing quotas, which have been implemented to prevent overfishing.  The strikers have announced their intention to block the Eurostar and Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) on Thursday of this week.

The backup on trucks trying to reach Dover and the continent from the UK side has been so massive that sections of the M20 (Motorway) in southeast England have been closed.

It is unclear how long the French fishermen will keep at this action.  For detailed information, see this article at the BBC.  For additional information, read this AFP article at Google News.

Neither Dover nor Calais are places that a traveler wants to be stuck for any length of time.  If you are considering a Channel crossing, flying might be the best bet during the strike by the French fishermen.  The Chunnel is another alternative, but as noted above, the fishermen seem to have targetted it, as well.

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London Anxious About The G-20 Meeting in April

March 21, 2009 on 8:57 pm | In Europe travel, London, London travel, ThereArePlaces.com, UK Travel, United Kingdom, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

April 1st and 2nd might not be the ideal time to visit London.  The Group of Twenty Economic Meeting (The G-20 Meeting) is scheduled for April 2 and international leaders are expected to arrive on April 1.  As you may know, this meeting often attracts those disenchanted with Globalism, including groups that are often referred to in the press as anarchists.  While we don’t know exactly how to classify the protestors, we do know that the protests associated with these meeings (wherever  and whenever they are held) often descend into violence.  We urge travelers to avoid London during the G-20 Meeting. 

A number of groups are planning protests and London’s Metropolitan Police believe that the protests will stretch the police force to its limits, according to an article in the Times Online.  Although the formal G-20 meeting will be held at a site in the Docklands, there is some fear that the protests in the City of London (on the 1st) may be difficult to control.  See this article in the International Herald Tribune for more information.  In addition, the G-20 is the first international meeting that will be attended by American President Barack Obama and his presence may attract protestors related to U.S. foreign policy. 

If you have a vacation scheduled in London on April 1 and 2, we recommend relocating to the countryside as an alternative.  After all, Bath, the Cotswolds, York, Wales and the Southeast are waiting for you and can be reached by car or train. 

If don’t want to change your plans, you might consider taking day trips from London on the April 1st and 2nd.  If you elect the day trip option, be sure to depart the city very early in the morning and return late at night. See our London Guide for a list of enjoyable daytrips just outside the city, although we do not recommend the daytrip to Greenwich during this period. 

If you are determined to stay in the London, we recommend that you avoid public transportation during the G-20 meeting and check the local news for updates.

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