Train strike latest: London buses and unaffected lines ‘busier than usual’, TfL warns

A major Tube strike has seen the closure of much of the London Underground network today.

Four Tube lines are completely closed during the 24-hour walkout by Transport for London (TfL) staff, while six are operating a “special service”, with trains only operating on less central stretches.

London Overground, DLR, London Tram, London bus and National Rail services are all in operation but are expected to be “busier than usual”, TfL has warned, with the Elizabeth line potentially seeing closures at stations also served by the Underground.

TfL is advising people to “avoid travelling where possible”, and to keep essential journeys to after 8am and before 6pm.

The RMT Union says the action is in response to proposals that would see 600 jobs axed and current working agreements torn up, with general secretary Mick Lynch demanding “a direct face-to-face meeting with mayor Sadiq Khan to sort this mess out”.

“There’s no point in our union continuing to sit opposite management representatives who have neither the inclination nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power lies with the mayor,” he said.

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Why are TfL workers striking?

Here is an infographic shared by RMT’s Bakerloo branch explaining why TfL workers are striking.

Staff are striking to “stop job cuts, to defend our conditions, and protect our pensions”, RMT says, attacking TfL bosses for having “complied with the Tories’ demands” over conditions imposed on short-term financial bailouts during the pandemic, which referenced those three areas.

Andy Gregory6 June 2022 14:52

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‘Chaos’: Stranded London commuters react to strike action

Here are some thoughts from commuters caught up in the 24-hour strike action this morning, which has seen 4,000 members of the RMT Union conduct a walkout as part of a dispute over jobs and pensions.

Miguel Basantes was stranded at Paddington station as he tried to get to work in Hampstead.

The 54-year-old construction worker described the situation as “chaos”, telling the PA news agency: “In Liverpool Street there were crowds of people and I was waiting for 20 or 30 minutes. I don’t know how to get to work.”

Among frustrated passengers gathering at the entrance to Waterloo station was Charlotte, from Surbiton, who said she was unsure if she would be able to complete her journey to Canary Wharf, having travelled for nearly an hour already.

“We’ll see if anything opens up, and I’ll go home if it doesn’t,” she said. “I’m pretty sure everyone will be delayed coming in today.”

“I don’t necessarily see the reason for the strike,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s justified to cause this much disruption, especially when London is getting up and running again. It seems like a big setback for the city.”

Andy Gregory6 June 2022 14:11

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No 10 condemns ‘deeply disappointing’ strike action

Downing Street has condemned the “deeply disappointing” strike action on the London Underground, as it called “industrial relations” at Transport for London “a matter for TfL and the mayor”.

“This sort of action is deeply disappointing and not what the public want to see, not what we want to see for businesses still trying to recover post-pandemic, people’s lives being disrupted in London,” Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said.

“Obviously industrial relations at TfL are a matter for TfL and the mayor but it’s clear that under the current funding settlement TfL must take all reasonable steps to avoid industrial action.”

Andy Gregory6 June 2022 13:37

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‘I don’t want to see a strike,’ says Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has failed to say whether he supports the Tube strikes, but accused the government of “starving TfL of the money they need”.

“What I want is to see an end to the strikes and to have this resolved. This has to be resolved by negotiation in the end,” the Labour leader told LBC, adding: “I don’t pretend to know all the details, but what I know of the issues that are in disupte, I think they are capable of being resolved. I think they should be resolved. I think that’s in everybody’s interest.”

He accused the government of “starving TfL of the money that they need”, adding: “The decline is actually a direct result of the approach that the government is taking.”

Pressed on whether he supports the strike, he added: “Look I don’t want to see a strike. I want to see this resolved. I want to see this negotiated to a settlement. I think the failure or the inability to fill those 600 jobs is all to do with the government funding, which is why we can’t pretend the government is some impartial observer here, they’re a central player and they’ve got to step up and put the funding in place.”

Andy Gregory6 June 2022 13:05

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Buses and unaffected lines ‘busier than usual’, TfL warns

While buses, the DLR, Elizabeth Line, trams and overground services remain unaffected by strikes today, they are “busier than usual”, TfL has warned.

The transport authority urged Londoners to allow more time for journeys and consider alternatives such as walking and cycling.

Andy Gregory6 June 2022 12:37

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Strike causes extra congestion on London roads

The Tube strike has caused delays on London’s roads, affecting private cars, commercial vehicles and buses.

Location technology firm TomTom said the level of road congestion was 71 per cent at 8am, up from 64% a fortnight earlier.

The figures represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flow conditions.

Zoe Tidman6 June 2022 12:00

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How are commuters reacting?

Commuters in London have been trying to navigate across the capital as usual routes were brought to a standstill.

Construction worker Miguel Basantes was left stranded at Paddington station as he tried to get to work in Hampstead.

The 54-year-old said: “In Liverpool Street there were crowds of people and I was waiting for 20 or 30 minutes. I don’t know how to get to work.”

Meanwhile Kundan Darla, a 25-year-old restaurant employee, said: “I think it is bad, I am too late for work.”

Paul Glennon, a 52-year-old construction worker in central London, said: “It is back to reality for all of us. No more parties and parades.

“I have spent my whole morning getting on and waiting for packed buses in the rain.”

Commuters attempt to board a bus outside Victoria train station as a London tube strike took place

(AFP via Getty Images)

Zoe Tidman6 June 2022 11:21

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Rail strikes ‘not necessarily the best way to guarantee a strong future for the industry’

London is once again gummed up by a Tube strike involving members of the RMT union. Transport for London, which runs the Underground, is accused by the union of threatening 600 jobs, tearing up working agreements and posing a “looming threat to pensions”. Rail unions are also planning the biggest train strike nationwide for decades.

In his latest travel podcast, travel correspondent Simon Calder says: “I absolutely understand where the Tube workers – and the rail workers – are coming from. They were expected to work all the way through Covid and to keep the country moving.”

But, as he points out, finances for public transport have been utterly trashed by the coronavirus pandemic. There is a funding shortfall of at least 20 per cent and the railways – under and over the ground – depend on taxpayer support to keep running.

“I am not convinced that today’s strike, and a national rail stoppage planned for the summer, is necessarily the best way to guarantee a strong future for the industry,” he says.

Simon Calder6 June 2022 11:00

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How can travellers get around London during today’s Tube strike?

A widespread strike by Transport for London workers has seen the Tube network shut across the city centre today.

Disruption is expected to continue until after 8am on Tuesday 7 June.

TfL is advising customers to “avoid travelling where possible on Monday 6 June” and to “avoid travelling before 8.00” on Tuesday.

“If you need to travel, allow more time for your journey,” reads the advice.

But if you do have an essential journey, how can you get around London today?

Read our guide to the transport options still available:

Helen Coffey6 June 2022 10:57

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Grant Shapps tweets support for Boris Johnson

London is paralysed by another Tube strike. Airlines are still cancelling flights in their hundreds. And amid the mounting chaos at the UK’s airports, tens of thousands of passengers are still stranded.

But the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has found time to tweet his support for the prime minister, who faces a confidence vote by Conservative MPs.

Mr Shapps wrote: “With the cost of living rising, war in Europe and an economy to recover after Covid, now is not the time for a distracting and divisive leadership contest.

“@BorisJohnson has my support – we must back him to get on with the job of delivering for the British people.”

The transport secretary has been one of the prime minister’s most loyal supporters, defending him time and again on broadcast media.

Simon Calder6 June 2022 10:40


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