Rush hour travel chaos as Tube strikes halt Underground

Closed shutters at the entrance to Euston Tube station on Thursday morning. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tube strikes brought travel chaos to rush hour as industrial action over jobs and pensions brought most lines to a standstill.

Nine out of 11 London Underground lines were shut down on Thursday morning, according to TfL's website in the latest walkout by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union in a long-running dispute.

The Central and Northern lines were partially open, with trains running on a small section of their normal routes.

The London Overground was also suspended, but there was a good service on the Elizabeth line and the DLR.

Some commuters were turned away from packed buses as people sought alternative forms of transport.But location technology firm TomTom said there was little change in traffic on London’s roads on Thursday morning compared with a week ago.

Commuters at King's Cross were among those caught up in the row between unions and TfL

Many people chose to work from home where they could to avoid the disruption.

Picket lines were mounted outside Tube stations across the capital.

The RMT said it offered to suspend the strike during talks, but accused TfL of rejecting its proposals.

TfL’s chief operating officer, Glynn Barton, said no proposals to change pensions or conditions have been made.

TfL’s recent funding agreement with the government requires it to develop options around pensions, but the organisation said if changes are to be made, there will be consultations and further work before any decisions are taken.

The RMT said it has asked TfL to pause any job cuts and pension changes to give both sides time to negotiate a deal.

Assistant general secretary John Leach called on transport bosses to “stand by” their staff.

He told the PA news agency outside King’s Cross St Pancras station: “My message to TfL now is stand by your staff, listen to your staff, thousands of them are on strike today for the sixth time this year.

“They’re losing lots of money, don’t they realise in management there’s a serious problem here? What they need to do is stand with their staff.

“The Mayor of London needs to stand up for staff and do a proper finance deal which gives TfL money it needs to keep the capital city moving, and not trade off the staff pension, jobs and their conditions of employment for some bad deal, which is what they have done.”

More than 1,000 Unite members are on strike.

The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “TfL is needlessly attacking our members’ pay and pensions, which Unite simply can’t accept. The workers have the full support of their union in fighting these attacks.

“TfL must stop behaving like a race-to-the-bottom employer and put forward an offer that is acceptable to our members.”

A long queue forms for the bus as people wait at Waterloo station

The Unite members are employed at London Underground, Compliance, Policing, Operations & Security, Victoria Coach Station, Network Management Control Centre, Croydon Trams engineering, Dial-A-Ride and Surface Operations.

Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “There is absolutely no need for TfL to press ahead with these attacks. The pension scheme is financially viable and in credit and the savings TfL were forced to make have already been found elsewhere. It is high time London’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, intervened.”

A member of staff gives directions to travellers at Euston Underground station. Credit: PA

Thursday 10 November:

  • TfL is advising customers to avoid travelling on the Tube as there is limited or no service

  • London Overground and DLR services are operating, however they may be subject to last minute changes, including non-stopping at some stations shared with London Underground.

  • London Trams are running a reduced timetable.

  • All other services on the TfL network, including the Elizabeth line and buses, are running but are busy. Customers should check before they travel.   

Friday 11 November:

  • Disruption from the previous day’s strikes will continue to affect customers into the morning of Friday 11 November, with affected services expected to return to a normal service by mid-morning. Customers are encouraged to check before they travel.

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