Londoners, don’t bother taking public transport today if you can avoid it (Picture: Jeremy Selwyn/ Belinda Jiao)
London’s transport network has ground to a halt amid a mass walkout of bus, Tube and rail workers in a bitter row over conditions, pensions and pay.
Eight Underground lines are not running at all, while the rest are part-suspended, with commuters warned to expect severe delays.
The London Overground is also part suspended, although the DLR and Elizabeth Line have remained relatively unaffected.
Around 10,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) workers are staging a 24 hour walkout amid a summer of industrial action across the transport sector.
There is also disruption to bus services in west and south-west London and parts of Surrey due as bus drivers from the Unite union strike today and tomorrow, affecting 63 routes.
Mainline train services started later than normal today to the knock-on effect of yesterday’s RMT strike at Network Rail and train operators across the country.
Just 70% of services will run today as a while, while a further walkout tomorrow will reduce service levels to 20%.
Busses in the capital were extra busy this morning as people couldn’t get the Tube to work as normal (Picture: Getty Images)
Around 10,000 RMT workers have staged a 24-hour walkout today (Picture: Getty Images)
Another day of travel chaos in the capital this morning (Picture: London News Pictures)
If there’s one profession that will be doing well from the strikes, it’s Uber and Bolt drivers, whose prices have been upped due to demand.
An Uber spokesperson said: ‘As a result of the strike action currently taking place on the London Underground network, we have capped the level that prices can surge, and all users are shown the price of their trip before they book.
‘We are also working hard to ensure that there are enough drivers out on the road to match demand.’
Uber said its price rises are only done in response to demand and are not planned in advance, CityAM reports.
Nick Dent, Transport for London’s director of customer operations, said it was ‘a difficult day’ for travel in the capital.
He told Sky News: ‘We have done everything we can to avoid this strike going ahead today.
‘Unfortunately, the disruption is going to be pretty significant to London today. We’re advising customers not to travel on the Tube at all.’
If there’s one thing you can count on in this country, it’s a nice and orderly queue (Picture: PA)
A bitter row over pay, pensions, jobs and working conditions shows no sign of dying down (Picture: PA)
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accused union leaders of getting in the way of workers striking a deal (Picture: PA)
Responding to RMT claims that TfL is having secret negotiations with the Government about cutting jobs and pensions, Mr Dent said the transport body has been working with ministers ‘all the way through the pandemic to try to secure a long-term funding settlement for London’.
He went on: ‘We of course conduct those negotiations confidentially. They are market-sensitive. We’ve explained that very clearly to the trade unions.
‘But we have been working with all of the trade unions, including the RMT. We’ve been very open and transparent about the impact of the pandemic on our finances all the way through the last couple of years.
‘We’ve assured them that we’ll continue to keep them updated. But, importantly, we have assured them that there are no proposals currently to change the TfL pension scheme, and if there were proposals in the future, then of course they will be consulted in detail. They’ll be involved very closely.’
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘The only reason for the strikes in recent weeks in London is because of the conditions the Government is trying to attach to a funding deal, and the trade unions are concerned about the consequences of those conditions on their members.
‘This is about pension concerns that trade unions have. I don’t want these conditions imposed on our transport workers.’
Meanwhile Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said railway reforms will be imposed if workers do not agree to new deals.
Need to take the Tube or train today? Here’s what is and isn’t running
- Bakerloo – No service
- Central – Part suspended
- Circle – No service
- District – Part suspended
- Hammersmith & City – No service
- Jubilee – No service
- London Overground – Part suspended and severe delays
- Metropolitan – No service
- Northern – Part suspended
- Piccadilly – No service
- Tram – Minor delays
- Victoria – No service
- Waterloo & City – No service
- Elizabeth Line – Good service
- DLR – Good service
Asked by Sky News if compulsory redundancies were on the table for rail workers, the Cabinet minister said: ‘The deal that is on the table actually means largely no compulsory redundancies at all.
‘If (the unions) are not prepared to put that deal to your membership we will never know whether members would accept it.
‘What I do know and I can say for sure is if we can’t get this settled in the way that we are proposing, which is ‘please put the deal to your membership’, then we will have to move to what is called a section 188; it is a process of actually requiring these changes to go into place so it becomes mandated.
‘That is the direction that this is moving in now.’
Mr Shapps claimed that outdated work practices needed to be updated, adding: ‘If we can’t get those modernisations in place we will have to impose those modernisations but we would much rather do it through these offers actually being put to their members.’
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