London

Tube strike: Mayor Sadiq Khan calls for 'last-ditch' talks

London Underground sign Image copyright PA
Image caption RMT and TSSA members are due to walk out for 24 hours from 18:00 GMT

The Mayor of London has called for "last-ditch" talks to avert a strike on the London Underground hours before it is due to begin.

A 24-hour tube strike is due to go ahead after unions rejected a "new deal" from Transport for London (TfL).

But Sadiq Khan has instructed TfL "to continue negotiating".

Workers from the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) unions are scheduled to walk out from 18:00 GMT.

The strike is expected to cause mass station closures.

Tube strike guide: What you need to know

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sadiq Khan - who has been pictured using the Tube while mayor - said the strike was "pointless"

The Labour mayor said TfL's negotiating team would "be available around the clock to resolve this dispute".

Calling the strike "pointless" Mr Khan said TfL's offer would "ensure station safety and staffing levels across the Tube network".

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for London Underground (LU), said the process had already begun to hire 200 extra station staff.

"Taking into account existing vacancies and natural turnover this means that over 600 staff will be recruited for stations this year."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Most stations in Zone One are expected to be closed during the walkout

The biggest rail union, the RMT, had walked out of talks at conciliation service Acas on Saturday.

On Sunday, the TSSA announced it had rejected the deal after consulting its members overnight.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said the new deal would not "restore Tube safety levels" with the "urgency that is now needed".

The offer was made after RMT left the meeting, a point the RMT disputes.

In a message to its members, RMT regional organiser John Leach said the talks had "failed" and the strike would go ahead.

Image copyright Oli Scarff
Image caption Bus services are expected to be much busier than usual during the strike

Talks between both unions and London Underground (LU) had previously broken down on Friday afternoon.

No details of the latest deal were revealed but Mr Leach told members of the RMT that LU had "given exactly the same offer again" during Saturday's last-ditch talks.

"This is just not acceptable. The unsafe practices and pressure on staff and passengers have to be resisted and will be," he said.

Transport for London (TfL) previously said it would address the recommendations of a recent report, which found the closure of ticket offices had caused "significant issues" for Tube passengers.

Image caption The strike is expected to affect about four million commuters

Expected Tube disruption:

  • The majority of central London Tube stations will be closed
  • No Underground services from stations such as Victoria, King's Cross, Waterloo, Paddington, Euston, Bank and London Bridge
  • Piccadilly line services will run between Hammersmith and Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3, but not to Terminals 4 or 5
  • No service on the Victoria or Waterloo & City lines
  • Limited services on other Tube lines in outer London
  • Buses, road and rail services including the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are expected to be much busier than usual

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