London Tube strike ends following widespread disruption

  • Published

Millions of Londoners have faced severe disruption during a major Tube strike which affected almost every line.

Services on all but the Northern Line were suspended or delayed and several stations closed during the first in a series of 24-hour strikes.

Staff walked out in two waves on Monday evening in a row over 800 job cuts. The strike ended at 2100 BST on Tuesday.

Transport for London (TfL) said it expected a full service would resume on Wednesday morning.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said support for the strike was "rock solid" while the city's transport bosses said London "was not paralysed".

Some workers began strike action at 1700 BST on Monday while others walked out four hours later.

'Complete fabrication'

A TfL spokesman said: "The service will start to get back to normal but we don't expect a full service to resume until tomorrow morning.

"There will be a bit of a stuttering service after 9pm."

A full service operated on the Northern Line, but many stations on the route were closed. There was a full service on the Waterloo and City Line for most of the day.

The Bakerloo, Victoria, District, Central, Piccadilly, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines were all partly suspended and more than 70 stations remained closed.

An extra 100 buses, marshalled taxi ranks, escorted bike rides, 2,000 extra journeys on the cycle hire scheme and 10,000 more passenger journeys on Thames riverboat services were laid on to cope with the strike.

Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground (LU), said a 40% service ran on the network.

"The paralysis of London predicted by the leadership of the TSSA union has failed to materialise, and we are confident of running a good service tomorrow morning."

But the RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the claims were a "complete fabrication" as there was a "skeleton" service.

He said: "They have claimed to be running a full service on lines where large numbers of stations have remained closed all day."

The unions have announced three further 24-hour strikes for 3 October, 2 November and 28 November.

But Mr Brown said: "I am determined that we will run more service next time and will keep running more service until we get this behind us."

The unions are fighting LU plans to scrap 800 jobs ticket offices and said security could be compromised for passengers.

But LU has insisted all stations would still be staffed and pledged there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Mr Crow said: "The message to the mayor and his transport officials is clear - stop playing fast and loose with safety, stop the drive towards unstaffed stations, drop the threat of these lethal cuts and start meaningful talks on a safe and secure future for the London Tube system."

The RMT had also accused LU of breaching safety regulations during the strike, but the Office of Rail Regulation said it was satisfied with LU's arrangements.

'Jeopardising investment'

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the strike was "bad news" for Londoners and the economy.

He said: "They (the unions) want to resist technology change, they want to resist modernisation and improvement and any message that sends that signal is jeopardising investment prospects.

"This is a battle they cannot win, my advice to them would be 'quit now before you inflict more damage on London and more damage on your own members jobs in the future'."

Many commuters described their frustration over Tuesday's disruptions.

Sandra Gibson, who queued for buses, a taxi and the Tube to reach Praed Street from Paddington station, said: "I gave up and headed home. As a contractor this cost me half a day's wage through no fault of my own."

Andrew Ross, of north London, said: "I've had two job interviews today and I was late for both. Walking to Russell Square also got me soaked from head to toe.

"Wondering if Bob Crow's umbrella handler will accompany me on my next walk?"

Paul Simmons, who walked to his destination, said: "I'm now walking from Paddington to Golders Green via Edgware Road, Kilburn and West Hampstead.

"Less a call to arms, more a call to feet. Come on Londoners enjoy your city."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said new staffing proposals for the Underground were "moderate and sensible" and accused the unions of "cynically deciding to try the patience" of commuters.

Maintenance staff walked out first on Monday followed by drivers, signallers and station staff.

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