Tube strike expected to go ahead as peace talks break down

Admin (06 January, 2017) Transport

Up to 4,000 workers are expected to walk out on Sunday in protest over job losses and ticket office closures

14200Commuters are warned of severely disrupted Tube services as up to 4,000 station and ticket staff plan a mass walk out

Commuters are being urged to leave more time for their journey as Tube workers prepare for a 24-hour strike.

Up to 4,000 station and ticket staff are set to strike for 24 hours from 6pm on Sunday evening in a dispute over job losses and ticket office closures.

Transport for London (TfL) has warned the mass walk out will see services severely disrupted with most Zone 1 stations shut and no services at all on some lines on Monday.

Those planning to travel during that time are urged to complete their journeys by 6pm on Sunday.

Although National Rail services will not be affected by the strike, there will be no underground services from key interchange stations such as Victoria, King’s Cross, Waterloo, Paddington, Euston, Bank and London Bridge.

After last ditch peace talks between the unions and TfL broke down today, RMT leader Mike Cash said: “Despite huge efforts by the union negotiating team, London Underground have failed to come up with any serious plans to tackle the staffing and safety crisis caused by the axing of nearly 900 safety-critical station jobs.

“Instead of resolving the issues, Tube bosses have chosen instead to ramp up the rhetoric with threats to mobilise a strike-breaking army of ‘ambassadors’ with severe consequences for the current safety regime across the Tube network.

“As a result of the management failure to face up to the current crisis, the talks have collapsed and all industrial actions remains on.

“It is up to London Underground to take full responsibility for this situation and to come back to us with a serious set of proposals.”

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The walkout is in protest at 800 job cuts and the closure of ticket offices under former mayor Boris Johnson’s regime.

The unions are angry with Mayor Sadiq Khan for not reopening at least some central London ticket offices.

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We have always committed to reviewing our new staffing model with our trade unions during its first year, and following the review by London TravelWatch we established a joint working group to undertake that review and make any changes necessary.

“It is clear that some more staff for stations are needed. We have started to recruit them and will continue to work with the unions to implement the recommendations made in the review.

“We believe that this will help us to provide a better service for our customers and ensure that they continue to feel safe, secure and able to access the right help while using our network.

“We encourage the trade unions to continue working with us in order to resolve this dispute and deliver the customer service our customers expect.”

TfL have also said Piccadilly line services will still run between Hammersmith and Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3, but there would be no service to Terminals 4 or 5.

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There will be no service at all on the Victoria or Waterloo and City lines, and all other lines will be severely affected with limited services in outer London.

For customers travelling to Canary Wharf from central London, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services will be running, however they will be busier than usual.

River services will also link central London and Canary Wharf.

Customers using the DLR are advised that there may be changes to services towards Bank, with trains instead terminating at Shadwell or Tower Gateway.

Buses, roads and rail services are expected to be much busier than usual, particularly those bus routes serving major interchange stations.

TfL say they will be deploying Travel Ambassadors in order to help customers get around the city, over 100 extra buses will be deployed to enhance existing routes and river services will also be enhanced.

There will be posters, digital boards and announcements in stations to keep people informed of the latest level of service.

All customers are advised to check before they travel at the Transport for London website and use the live update services @TfLTravelAlerts, @TfLTrafficNews and @TfLBusAlerts on Twitter.

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