What time should I get to the march?
The march will assemble on the Blackfriars end of Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the Thames from 11am on October 18.
We’re expecting a large march, so it will take a long time for the back of the march to leave the Embankment. It is hard to say exactly when but we would expect the march to take at least two hours to clear the assembly area and probably longer. So it makes sense therefore for people to stagger their arrival times. Those coming by coach are likely to arrive for 11am, so those coming from London and the south east using public transport may want to arrive later.
If you’re looking to march in a group with other members of your own union, check with them to see where they plan to assemble. Unions have been allocated marked zones along the Embankment, so if you turn up early it will be easier to find colleagues. As the Embankment fills up, marchers will be directed to join from the rear to avoid a crush, so it may not be possible to join your own union at the start if you come later on.
On the other hand, is you are with a group of people from the same place sharing transport, but from different unions, it may make sense to stick together in the march and at the rally as that will make the return journey easier.
Using public transport
Whatever time you come our twin mantras right through to October 18 will be “join from the rear” and “use a wide range of tube stations” so that we don’t overcrowd any or get a crush at the front of the march.
London’s public transport network will be busy on the day, so the sensible approach is to use a tube station that avoids you having to make central London changes if possible, and that will get you near to the rear of the march. We’d suggest aiming for Blackfriars, Southwark or St Paul’s stations and walking from there.
Waterloo will also be a good choice for those using the Northern or Bakerloo lines (or arriving on Network Rail services). But keep to the south of the river to cross at Blackfriars, rather than use Waterloo or Hungerford bridges.
Avoid Westminster, Embankment or Temple underground stations as they are far from the rear of the march. In particular Temple tube station is likely to be closed on the day as it can’t cope with large numbers safely. As the Embankment fills marchers arriving from the front are likely to be diverted by other streets – such as the Strand – to the rear of the march.
If you want to arrange to meet up with friends or colleagues, it will be better to choose a place away from the Embankment and then walk together to join the march. There are for example many places on the south bank of the Thames where small groups can hook up.
On the day we will use Twitter (@payrise4britain) and other ways to let people know where the rear of the march is located, but aiming for the embankment around Blackfriars is a good bet.
There are also planned partial line closures in operation on the underground, though none in Central London. So far it looks like it will affect some of the ends of the Central line and the District Line. You can check the latest plans on Transport For London’s site.
Many organisations will be booking coaches or chartering trains to come to London on the day. We are working with the False Economy website to publicise coaches and trains offering travel places.
False Economy are operating a special coach listings map to help you find your nearest travel options. If you’re organising a coach with seats available to supporters or to the public, please take a moment to add it to their listings, using this online form.
As we have done for previous marches, we’ve booked coach parking spaces around London on the day. Coaches will not be allowed to drop or pick up from the march route or Hyde Park as roads in much of central London will be closed and the rest will be heavily congested as a result.
Where people are dropped off and picked up will be a matter for coach organisers to agree with their clients, but marchers should expect to use public transport for the final stage of their journey. We know that is not always popular, but there will simply be too many coaches to allow drop offs nearer the march. And for most people it will make for a much quicker journey home as it cuts out the slow drag through narrow congested London streets. We’ve chosen coach parks to make the most of accessible onward travel options.
The coach parks we are using are all near to public transport. It will be easier to find your way back to your coach if you start your journey from the coach park.
Here are detailed briefings for each of the three coach parks
- New Covent Garden | PDF version: New Covent Garden coach park
- The O2 | PDF version: o2 coach park
- Wembley Stadium | PDF version Wembley coach park
It is worth looking at the ‘Transport for London’ (TfL) website www.tfl.gov.uk to see what journeys you are likely to be making in advance of traveling. While many tube stations have poor accessibility (see TFL step free guide), Southwark tube station is step free and is on the Jubilee line from Wembley or the O2 coach parks. As it’s the most modern, the Jubilee is the most accessible.
Most people will need to rejoin their coach at the appropriate coach park. This means that most people will also need to use public transport for the first stage of their journey home. If you would like to book one of our parking spaces for your coach, you can find instructions here.
You may be thinking of coming by car, even though we prefer that you don’t. No-one should even think about parking in central London. Instead you should aim for a car park further away from the march and complete your journey by public transport.