29 April 2014
Last updated at 12:15
Some services are running but with a much reduced frequency with stations closed
Commuters travelling in London are experiencing “severe disruption” as Tube workers strike.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union have walked out for 48 hours over plans to close all ticket offices at a cost of 960 jobs.
Transport for London said 50% of services were running compared to about 40% during the last walkout.
The strike is due to end at 20:59 BST on Wednesday but disruption may continue into Thursday morning.
The union and London Underground (LU) have met more than 40 times, through the arbitration service Acas, since the last 48-hour strike in February, but talks broke down on Monday.
It has said it plans to run as many services as possible with extra bus and river services, but customers are advised to check their journey before they travel.
This is how services are running at the moment, all with a reduced frequency and with a number of stations closed:
- Bakerloo Line: Between Queen’s Park and Elephant and Castle
- Central Line: Between Epping and Leytonstone. Between White City and Ealing Broadway and between North Acton and West Ruislip
- Circle Line: Between Hammersmith and Aldgate
- District Line: Between Wimbledon and Upminster. Between Ealing Broadway and High Street Kensington
- Hammersmith and City Line: Between Edgware Road and Barking
- Jubilee Line: Between Wembley Park and Stratford
- Metropolitan Line: Between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Aldgate and Uxbridge and Harrow on-the-Hill
- Northern Line: The whole line is being served but a number of stations are closed
- Piccadilly Line: Between Acton Town and Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3
- Victoria Line: The whole line is being served but a number of stations are closed
- Waterloo and City Line: No service
There were big queues building up at stations and bus stops
The strike got the go-ahead on Monday after talks broke down
Commuters used alternative transport methods to get around London
A 72-hour strike is due to take place next week
Where services were being operated, trains began to run at about 07:00 and will finish at about 23:00. The last services from central London may also depart much earlier, at about 21:30.
TfL said about 87% of Oyster cards that would usually be seen on the network have been used and there were almost 8,000 buses on the roads – the most ever operated in London – after an extra 266 were put into service.
And it said there has been a 70% increase in Barclays cycle hires.
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Weary resignation or outright anger is probably what most commuters feel.
The concern is there doesn’t seem to be room for a compromise from either side.
Poor industrial relations haven’t helped and the absence of the late Bob Crow has changed the landscape.
The RMT has changed tack and offered to suspend its action for a public consultation.
There could also be room for movement on the creation of visitor centres as an alternative to ticket offices.
There will probably be more talks on Friday but to avoid more strikes one of the sides will have to back down.
Many commuters now seem just as angry at both sides in this acrimonious dispute that could drag on and on.
The RMT said it would have suspended the strike if LU had agreed to a public consultation over the plans, which do not include any compulsory redundancies.
The acting general secretary of the RMT union, Mick Cash, described the strike as “solidly supported” and accused London Underground of backtracking on an earlier deal to review its plan to close ticket offices.
“They’re looking to make £15m worth of cuts and to do that they want to get rid of every single booking office and 1,000 jobs,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
“Now we took industrial action in February this year and we suspended it following a deal done with our former general secretary, Bob Crow, where they had promised to review every single station.
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I’m afraid what you’ve heard from Mick Cash is nonsense”
“And there are over 200 stations and do you know what we’ve done, is five.”
But the managing director of London Underground, Mike Brown, told Today: “We agreed that we would start by looking at the different station types, which group into five different types, and we’d look at those first.
“And now we’re in the midst of doing the full station by station review starting with the Piccadilly Line.
“So I’m afraid what you’ve heard from Mick Cash is nonsense.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the the idea it was a solidly-supported strike was “farcical” and repeated there would be no compulsory redundancies.
He added: “This action is the result of a minority of just one union, the RMT, who are refusing to see the logic of what we are trying to achieve.
“We can’t, as some would have us do, just stand by and force Londoners to pay for ticket offices.
“A resource which currently costs Londoners money, and where less than 3% of journeys begin, can be delivered better and far more efficiently with these changes.”
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “It’s unacceptable that millions of people are having their lives disrupted by today’s Tube strike in London.”
The strike is likely to hit university students taking degree exams. On its website, King’s College London says it is aware of students’ concerns and will review the impact of strike action.
The RMT is also holding a 48-hour strike which began at 03:00 on Tuesday on the Heathrow Express in a separate row over jobs, pay and cuts.
And football fans travelling to Chelsea’s Champions League match with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday will also be affected.
The union is set to strike for 72 hours from 21:00 on Monday, 5 May if the ticket office dispute is not resolved.