Metro strike: Urgent warning as travel chaos erupts again tonight as workers walk off the job
Commuters face travel chaos again tonight amid the misery of the Tube strike – and tomorrow morning’s travel will also be affected.
Britons ‘fed up’ returning to the office after the four-day bank holiday have faced huge delays as Transport for London (TfL) workers depart.
The strikes won’t end until 8 a.m. tomorrow, which means those who go home tonight and return tomorrow will have even more problems.
Downing Street slammed the ‘deeply disappointing’ decision today after cops were called to stations to deal with furious Londoners, and office workers were told to stay home to avoid delays.
Meanwhile, there was confusion and anger after the TfL website and app wrongly suggested some services were still running – only for passengers to find out they were in fact suspended.
Queues piled up as travelers tried to enter train stations before pouring into bus stops and taxi ranks.
Some have even compared the battle for an Uber to the Hunger Games, with hour and a half delays for a car.
Once they found their vehicle, they faced queues on the roads. Congestion was 41% higher at peak times compared to the same time last week, according to TomTom.
Up to 4,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have quit their jobs in a bitter row over jobs and pensions.
And today’s action could be just the start of a dreaded ‘summer of discontent’.
Unions recently threatened a nationwide railway strike, which would force Network Rail to operate on a skeletal timetable to reserve tracks for the movement of goods.
Civil servants have also threatened to call a nationwide strike that could disrupt ports, courts and airports after being offered a 2% pay rise.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman said today: ‘This type of action is deeply disappointing and it is not what the public wants to see, not what we want to see for businesses still trying to recover after the pandemic, with people’s lives being disrupted in London.
“Obviously industrial relations at TfL is the business of TfL and the Mayor, but it is clear that under the current funding regulations TfL must take all reasonable steps to avoid industrial action.”
The DLR, London Overground and trams are still running, although services are packed.
Commuters recounted their “bloody nightmare” this morning.
Tracy Brown, 45, a mum-of-three from Acton, said: “Getting three kids ready in the morning for school is hard enough without a subway strike making it harder.
“I’m sick of running around to get my kids to school on time because some people are so greedy.”
Paul Glennon, 52, a construction worker in central London, said: “It’s a reality check for all of us. No more parties and parades.
“I spent my whole morning riding and waiting for crowded buses in the rain. A bloody nightmare.”
Others were stunned and confused by TfL’s travel advice on their website, as commuters crowded around the tube entrance at Waterloo station.
William said he had read the TfL website, which advised commuters to travel between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Mondays.
However, when he reached the Waterloo tube, it was closed.
“I just wish they had put the right information in place,” he said.
“I personally don’t agree with the strikes as they stand anyway.
“However, if they strike and they’ve gone through the right process to do so, it’s out of my control.
“So the information online should be the correct information that allows people to plan their trip.”
There was also misinformation about the TfL Go app which incorrectly planned people’s journeys as though certain lines were still running.
THE MISERY OF THE TUBE
A weary commuter tweeted: ‘If you assumed Finsbury Park tube stop was open because the TfL website said so… it’s not.
Another added: “The TfL app and website showing that the Elizabeth line is operating as normal, when in fact it doesn’t stop at Liverpool Street, seems like an important detail to miss when there’s a subway strike.”
TfL claims the strikers were misinformed. Bosses say there are no proposals to change pensions or conditions, and no one will lose their jobs.
Instead, the organization has proposed that 500 to 600 positions go unfilled when they become vacant as people leave or change jobs.
But the RMT said that under the current proposals 600 jobs will be lost, employment agreements will be torn up and the looming threat to pensions remains.
Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “I would like to apologize to London for the impact this strike will have on travel.
“We know this is going to be detrimental to London and the economy, at a time when public transport is playing a crucial role in the capital‘s recovery.
“While our aim is always to help everyone get around London when they want, the expected impact of the RMT’s action means we have to advise people to only travel if necessary, as many stations can be closed.
Metro alternatives, including bus and train networks, are likely to be much busier than usual
“Alternatives to the metro, including the bus and train networks, are likely to be much busier than usual and we expect the severe disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of Tuesday 7 June.
“No changes have been proposed to pensions and no one has lost or will lose their job as a result of the proposals we have made.
“Working with us to find a solution is the best course of action, avoiding the disruption this strike will cause to Londoners and the economy.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “We demand a direct face-to-face meeting with Mayor Sadiq Khan to settle this mess.
“There is no point in our union continuing to sit in front of management representatives who have neither the desire nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power rests with the mayor.”
Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has called for a massive walkout by TfL workers close to the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, when London will be full of visitors.
“The past two years have hit London disproportionately and the capital is desperately trying to regain some sense of normality after two tumultuous years.
“This strike now puts TfL in the position of having to recommend that Londoners work from home.
“Ultimately, this will only hurt London’s economy and it’s time for TfL to settle its dispute with the RMT so we can start building prosperity again and show the world that London is an open business. “
RMT members on the metro are also taking action ahead of a strike – meaning station staff may not work overtime until Sunday July 10 – leading to last-minute station closures.