London

Second London Underground strike leads to travel chaos

Commuters facing severe disruption on London's Tube network because of a strike have been warned problems will continue until Tuesday morning.

RMT and TSSA union members walked out on Sunday in the second in a series of strikes over cuts to 800 ticket office jobs.

The strike ended at 1830 BST on Monday, but Transport for London said services would be disrupted for hours.

RMT union leader Bob Crow disputed TfL's claim that 40% of trains had run.

He said: "The first casualty of war is always the truth."

London Underground general manager Mike Brown warned commuters to expect problems after the strike.

He said: "The trains won't be in the right places until tomorrow morning.

"Although the strike has ended, people won't be starting their shifts until much later.

"We won't have full services until tomorrow morning."

Union bosses have written to Prime Minister David Cameron, pressing him to convene talks to resolve the row.

The letter also criticised London Mayor Boris Johnson and said he was not listening to commuters.

Mr Johnson said the strike was "nakedly and blatantly political" and had "nothing to do with health and safety".

David Cameron told BBC London that the government would be looking at what Mr Johnson had to say.

"The London Underground situation is completely intolerable for London commuters," the prime minister said.

"They are as fed up as I am with the fact that they seem to have a union that enjoys going on strike rather than working with everyone to improve the state of the Underground."

'Direct talks'

Services on the entire Circle line are suspended. Services on seven other lines are partly suspended, with special services on three other Tube lines.

Trains are said to be running normally on the Docklands Light Railway. There have been severe delays on London Overground.

At 1900 BST the following Underground lines were disrupted:

  • Bakerloo - trains running between Elephant & Castle and Queens Park
  • Central - trains operating between Leytonstone and White City
  • District - suspended between Earls Court and Edgware Road; Earls Court and Kensington Olympia; Turnham Green and Richmond; Barking and Upminster
  • Hammersmith and City - suspended between Liverpool Street and Barking
  • Jubilee - suspended between Waterloo and Stanmore
  • Metropolitan - suspended between Northwood and Watford
  • Northern - special service operating, but some stations closed
  • Piccadilly - suspended between Acton Town and Finsbury Park; Acton Town and Uxbridge
  • Victoria - special service operating, but some stations closed
  • Waterloo and City - suspended.

More information is available on Transport for London's website.

TfL laid on 100 extra buses and increased capacity to allow for more than 10,000 extra river journeys.

Some roadworks were also delayed in an attempt to reduce travel disruption.

The letter to Mr Cameron, signed by Mr Crow and Gerry Doherty of the TSSA, said: "We hope you would agree that, instead of barracking Tube workers from Birmingham, he (Mr Johnson) should be listening to London and the real concerns of passenger, pensioner and disability groups.

"Only direct talks with the mayor can solve this dispute because there has been a complete breakdown in trust with London Underground."

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said he wanted to tell Londoners: "How deeply I regret the inconvenience you are suffering as a result of this strike."

'Cast-iron assurances'

Describing the strike as "pointless", Howard Collins, chief operating officer of London Underground, said: "We are doing everything to run as many Tube services as possible and, although Londoners will doubtless face some disruption getting to work, 75% of stations are open and 40% of Tube trains are running."

The unions have been given "cast-iron assurances" that there will be no compulsory redundancies and every station will be staffed, he added.

Ben Gilbert, 34, from Clapham, who works at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said it was "annoying" that his usual 35-minute commute to Green Park took more than an hour.

But another commuter, Chris Aldridge, said his trip on the District line had been "possibly the quietest and quickest journey" he had ever taken to work.

Two further strikes are planned for November if the dispute remains unresolved. The RMT also banned its members from accepting overtime over the weekend in protest at the job cuts.

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