Tube strikes: Londoners urged not to travel early on Wednesday as disruption continues

1 March 2022, 00:01 | Updated: 1 March 2022, 19:56

Sadiq Khan lambasts RMT as Tube strikes impact London

By Megan Hinton

London commuters are being told to avoid travelling early in the morning on Wednesday as no Tube lines are due to run following a 24-hour strike.

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Disruption is expected to continue following Tuesday's strike, with no service until at least 7.30am and a severely disrupted service after.

Transport for London (TfL) is asking people to aim to make their journeys on the Underground from mid-morning instead.

The 24-hour strike caused chaos in London on Tuesday, with the Tube out of action all day as thousands of workers walked out.

The same disruption is set to cause chaos again on Thursday, as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) take further action in a dispute over jobs, pensions and conditions.

Sadiq Khan has criticised the Tube strikes, saying they cause suffering to London and questioning their purpose.

Mr Khan told LBC today: “The strike today and the strike on Thursday causes massive disruption to our city. TfL suffers, Londoners suffer, people who have got appointments at hospital suffer.

“Businesses who have had a horrific two years suffer. I’m not sure what the purpose of the strike today and the strike on Thursday is.

“I’d encourage the RMT to get back around the table with TfL to resolve these differences.”

Strikes across the Tube network crippled London this morning, with people needing hours to get to work.

Services were suspended on all lines except the Overground, DLR and TfL rail. Staff are also set to walkout on Thursday in another strike affecting the whole network.

London Overground ran a reduced service. TfL Rail, the Docklands Light Railway and tram services were all operating normally.

John Rayner, 28, a construction worker who was waiting for a bus in Paddington, west London, said: "I missed two buses this morning because queues for buses are so long and some buses don't even bother to stop.

"I walked to Paddington for over an hour as I thought I would have more luck getting a Tube from here. It is a joke. This city is becoming unliveable."

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "The strike action will cause disruption to Londoners and businesses that are trying to recover from two devastating years.

"It will also damage TfL's revenues at a time when TfL is already under huge financial strain due to the pandemic.

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"TfL are working to mitigate the impact of the strikes but disruption is inevitable. The mayor urges Londoners who need to travel on March 1 and 3 to check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible.

"Sadiq doesn't want to see strike action and is imploring the unions to come to the table and work with City Hall and TfL."

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Sadiq Khan knows that this raid on our members' pensions and conditions is unfair and would lead to industrial action because he's said it himself.

"Yet only last week we find out that the mayor has agreed to submit proposals to the Government that will result in attacks on those pensions.

"Which side is he on? The side of our members who risked their lives as key workers in Covid and are now, as he predicted, striking to defend (their) livelihoods and future? Or the side of a Tory Government which wants to attack jobs, pensions, conditions and services?

"The mayor can solve this dispute by agreeing to talks that meet the concerns of his own workforce.

"Our members are central to the future of passenger safety and confidence on the Tube and they'll be at the heart of London's recovery. For the good of his workers and London's recovery, Sadiq needs to stand firm against the Government, stop the pensions raid and end the job massacre."

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Andy Lord, TfL's chief operating officer, said: "I would ask anyone who needs to use the Tube on March 1 and 3 to check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible.

"It's highly unlikely there will be an Underground service running during the strike action and services are likely to be affected on the mornings of March 2 and 4 too.

"I apologise to customers for this and understand they will be frustrated by this strike action, but urge them not to take it out on those who are trying to help.

"We haven't proposed any changes to pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals we have set out, so this action is completely unnecessary.

"We know our customers deserve better than this and that is why we're urging the RMT to talk to us so we can find a resolution to this dispute and call off this action, which is threatening London's recovery from the pandemic."

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How long will the strikes be on for?

There will be no service on the London Underground network on Tuesday 1 March and Thursday 3 March.

However, it is expected to severely impact services the following mornings too - on March 2 and March 4.

Long-term strikes that have been taking place on Friday and Saturday evenings since the beginning of the year will also go ahead this week.

Which lines will be affected?

All Tube lines will be affected by the upcoming strikes on Tuesday and Thursday.

The weekend strikes will impact the Night Tube on Central and Victoria lines.

The strikes will lead to the closure of five London stations on Great Northern's Northern City Line, from Drayton Park to Moorgate, because some are operated by London Underground.

On Tuesday and Thursday, Great Northern trains will be diverted at Finsbury Park into King's Cross and won't be able to serve the stations of Drayton Park, Highbury & Islington, Essex Road, Old Street and Moorgate.

Some may operate only north of Finsbury Park.

Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink trains around London are likely to be much busier than usual and journeys may take much longer generally, passengers were warned.

What is being advised?

Commuters have been told to expect severe disruption across all Tube lines for the rest of the week.

TfL recommended that people travel later in the day on Wednesday and Friday, the days after the strikes.

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