London strike: Capital ground to a halt with bus, rail and tube strikes

Londoners, don’t bother taking public transport today if you can avoid it (Image: Jeremy Selwyn/ Belinda Jiao)

London’s transport network has ground to a halt amid a mass walkout by 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 partially suspended, with commuters warned to expect serious delays.

London Overground is also partially suspended, although the DLR and Elizabeth Line have been relatively unaffected.

Around 10,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers are staging a 24-hour walkout amid a summer of industrial action across the transport sector.

There are also disruptions to bus services in west and south-west London and parts of Surrey as bus drivers from the Unite union strike today and tomorrow, affecting 63 routes.

Mainline train services started later than normal today as a result of yesterday’s RMT strike at Network Rail and train operators across the country.

Only 70% of services will run today for a while, while a further outage tomorrow will reduce service levels to 20%.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Commuters queue for buses outside Victoria tube station which is closed due to strike action on August 19, 2022 in London, England.  Pipeworkers represented by the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are carrying out a day-long walkout due to a pension dispute.  Meanwhile, bus drivers with the Unite union are starting a two-day strike in a separate pay dispute.  Tomorrow also sees another 24-hour strike affecting England's rail service, in a summer characterized by strike action.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Buses in the capital were extra busy this morning as people could not get the metro to operate as normal (Image: Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Commuters queue for buses outside Victoria tube station which is closed due to strike action on August 19, 2022 in London, England.  Pipeworkers represented by the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are carrying out a day-long walkout due to a pension dispute.  Meanwhile, bus drivers with the Unite union are starting a two-day strike in a separate pay dispute.  Tomorrow also sees another 24-hour strike affecting England's rail service, in a summer characterized by strike action.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Around 10,000 RMT workers have staged a 24-hour walkout today (Image: Getty Images)

??  Licensed to London News Pictures.  19/08/2022.  London, United Kingdom.  Commuters at London Liverpool Street bus stop during rush hour as the tube strike takes place today.  Transport workers on the London Underground and Overground network are taking part in a 24-hour walkout.  Photo credit: Marcin Nowak/LNP

Another day of travel chaos in the capital this morning (Image: London News Pictures)

If there’s one profession that will fare well after the strikes, it’s Uber and Bolt drivers, whose rates have been increased 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 at which fares can rise and all users are shown the price of their journey before booking.

“We are also working hard to ensure there are enough drivers on the road to match demand.”

Uber said the price increases are only being made 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 prevent this strike continuing today.

“Unfortunately the disruption is going to be quite significant for London today. We advise customers not to travel on the subway at all.’

People queue for a bus outside Waterloo station, in central London.  Tube, rail and bus services are set to be severely disrupted in the capital as members of Unite and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union strike in an ongoing row over pay, jobs and conditions.  Photo date: Friday 19  August 2022. PA photo.  See PA story INDUSTRY Tube.  Image credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

If there’s anything you can count on in this country, it’s a nice and orderly queue (Image: PA)

Commuters wait for buses at Liverpool Street Station in central London.  Tube, rail and bus services are set to be severely disrupted in the capital as members of Unite and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union strike in an ongoing row over pay, jobs and conditions.  Photo date: Friday 19  August 2022. PA photo.  See PA story INDUSTRY Tube.  Image credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A bitter row about wages, pensions, jobs and working conditions shows no sign of dying down (Image: PA)

People waiting for a number 16 bus outside Victoria Station in central London.  Photo date: Friday 19  August 2022. PA photo.  Tube, rail and bus services are set to be severely disrupted in the capital as members of Unite and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union strike in an ongoing row over pay, jobs and conditions.  See PA story INDUSTRY Tube.  Image credit should read: Kirsty 'Connor/PA Wire

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accused union leaders of getting in the way of workers striking a deal (Image: PA)

Responding to RMT claims that TfL is in secret negotiations with the government to cut jobs and pensions, 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 continued: “We are of course conducting these negotiations confidentially. They are market sensitive. We have explained that very clearly to the unions.

“But we have worked with all the unions, including the RMT. We have been very open and transparent about the impact of the pandemic on our economy throughout the last couple of years.

“We have assured them that we will continue to keep them updated. But most importantly, we have reassured them that there are currently no proposals to change the TfL pension scheme and if there are proposals in the future they will of course be consulted in detail. They will be involved very closely.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The sole 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 unions are concerned about the consequences of these conditions for their members.

“This is about pension concerns that the trade unions have. I do not want these conditions to be imposed on our transport workers.’

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said rail reforms will be imposed if workers do not agree to new deals.


Do you need to take the subway 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
  • Anniversary – No service
  • London Overground – Partially suspended and major delays
  • Metropolitan – No service
  • Northern – Part suspended
  • Piccadilly – No service
  • Tram – Less 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 minister said: “The deal that is on the table actually basically means no compulsory redundancies at all.

“If (the unions) aren’t willing to put that deal on your membership, we’ll never know if members will accept it.

“What I do know, and I can say with certainty, is that if we can’t get this settled in the way that we’re proposing, which is ‘please add the agreement to your membership,’ then we’re going to have to move to what’s called a section 188; it is a process that actually requires these changes to go into place so that they are imposed.

‘That’s the direction this is going in now.’

Mr Shapps argued that outdated working practices needed to be updated, adding: “If we can’t get these modernizations in place we will have to impose these modernizations, but we would much rather do that through these offers actually being made to members.”

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