How to get around London at Christmas and what TfL services are on

As usual, TfL services are not operational on Christmas Day, so what are the alternatives? (Doug Peters / PA wire)

After a year of relentless transport strikes, people now need to start thinking about the best way to get around London during the Christmas season.

Strikes organized by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) have caused travel difficulties for thousands of commuters and could impact travel to London as some workers are RMT members.

Bus strikes are expected including some closures, service changes and planned works on the Metro lines. As a result, this could affect travel around London and commuters are advised to check before travelling.

London bus strike

There will be bus strikes affecting most of London’s routes as around 1,000 bus drivers leave.

The days affected by the bus strike are December 9, 10, 16 and 17, for both Abellio and Metroline bus services.

Strike actions are currently taking place affecting bus services on:

  • Friday 9 December (Abellio and possibly Metroline)

  • Saturday 10 December (Abellio only)

  • Thursday 15 December (possibly Metroline only)

  • Friday 16 December (Abellio and possibly Metroline)

  • Saturday 17 December (Abellio only)

Bus lines affected

Abellio daily routes: 3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9

Route 481 will operate but with less service on weekdays from 7:30am to 8am and 3pm to 4pm.

24-hour Abellio lines: 24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345

Abellio night lines: N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381

Scholastic paths: 671

Metroline daily lines: 4, 7, 16, 17, 30, 32, 46, 81, 83, 90, 91, 98, 107, 112, 113, 120, 140, 143,168,182,186,190, 204, 210, 231, 234, 237, 240, 245, 260, 263, 268, 274, 292, 302, 306, 307, 316, 317, 324, 328, 332, 382, ​​384, 393, 460, 483, 491, C11, E2, E8, H2, H3, W7, W8

Route 307 will not be affected by strike action starting December 10.

Metro night lines: N7, N16, N20, N31, N83, N91, N98, N113, N140

Metroline lines 24 hours: 6, 43, 52, 134, 139, 189, 271, 297, 390

Scholastic paths: 631, 632, 634, 643

London Underground strike

There are currently no Metro strikes expected before the end of 2022, but the disputes with TfL still need to be resolved and could affect some lines in the coming weeks.

Unions must give two weeks notice before taking any action on strikes.

Check the TfL website for updates before you travel.

There will be engineering work in the capital, along with strikes, which could impact some services around London.

TfL services on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, public transport will start to slow down from the early evening with no night buses available. Services on the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Elizabeth Line, London Overground and London trams are expected to terminate earlier than normal.

TfL recommends checking your journey planner closer to the latest train/tram timetable.

TfL services on Christmas Day

There is no public transport on Christmas Day, but private hire and taxi services are available for those who need to travel.

Those wanting to get around the city on Sunday 25 December can also use Santander Cycles, Dial-a-Ride, coach or e-scooter hire in select London boroughs.

Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth Line will not operate normally from Monday 26th December to Monday 2nd January. Services between Paddington and Abbey Wood (26 and 27 December), Liverpool Street/Whitechapel to Shenfield (26 December), Paddington to Heathrow and Reading (26 and 27 December) will be affected and there will be a reduced service between West Drayton and Maidenhead between 10.30am and 9.30pm (27 December) and Liverpool Street/Whitechapel to Shenfield (27 December and 2 January).

London above ground

The London Overground will also undergo service changes between Monday 26 December and Monday 2 January. Routes affected include Euston to Watford Junction, Richmond to Willesden Junction, Surrey Quays to New Cross, Sydenham to West Croydon, Shepherd’s Bush to Willesden Junction (Dec 26), Willesden Junction to Stratford (Dec 26 & 27), from Gospel Oak at Woodgrange Park (26 and 30 December), Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford, Romford to Upminster (26 December and 2 January), Camden Road to Willesden Junction, via West Hampstead (28 and 30 December) and Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction (30 December and 2 January).

Santander cycles

Santander Cycles is London’s public cycle hire scheme and a great way to travel around the city, particularly on Christmas Day when there is no public transport.

There are 800 docking stations across London, with around 12,000 bikes available for hire 24/7.

For a 30-minute journey with Santander Cycles, the cost is £1.65, and for longer journeys, it’s £1.65 for each additional 30 minutes.

For more information visit Santander Cycles.


London Dial-a-Ride is operated by TfL and is a door-to-door community transport service for people with permanent or long-term disabilities or health problems, meaning they are unable or virtually unable to use public transport .

The free service is reserved for passengers with mobility problems who can use the service for leisure, shopping or to visit friends and relatives.

The service is not intended for those who need to appear for hospital visits or work commitments.

To become a member of Dial-a-Ride visit their site.

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