Commuters should expect Friday morning misery due to impact of RMT walkout

Commuters have been warned they face a miserable Friday morning rush hour due to the impact of the Tube strike.

London Underground services are not expected to return to ‘normal’ until mid-morning, with fewer early morning trains meaning services will be busier than usual.

Transport for London said: “The disruption will continue into the morning of Friday 11 November, with affected services expected to resume normal service by mid-morning.”

About 10,000 members of the RMT union withdrew on Thursday in an ongoing dispute over pensions and the loss of up to 600 station staff.

This forced the closure of eight Tube lines – Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo & City – and left only ‘shuttle’ services running on the lines’ outer branches Central, District and Northern. .

There were also problems on the London Overground, with no trains on the main commuter routes between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.

London Underground strike | November 10, 2022

Bus lines in Victoria (Jeremy Selwyn)

Cycling to work today on the dock (Jeremy Selwyn)

Cycling to work today on the dock (Jeremy Selwyn)

Bus queues at Waterloo station today as London (Jeremy Selwyn)

Bus queues at Waterloo station today as London (Jeremy Selwyn)

Commuters attempt to leave Tottenham Court Road station in London (AFP via Getty Images)

Commuters attempt to leave Tottenham Court Road station in London (AFP via Getty Images)

Bus queues at Waterloo Station (Jeremy Selwyn)

Bus queues at Waterloo Station (Jeremy Selwyn)

Commuters board a crowded train at Stratford station (AFP via Getty Images)

Commuters board a crowded train at Stratford station (AFP via Getty Images)

Bus queues at Waterloo station today as London is hit by another Tube strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

Bus queues at Waterloo station today as London is hit by another Tube strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

Underground strike at Waterloo station (Jeremy Selwyn)

Underground strike at Waterloo station (Jeremy Selwyn)

Eastbound traffic (right) on Euston Road in central London during a strike (PA)

Eastbound traffic (right) on Euston Road in central London during a strike (PA)

Subway trains lined up at Stanmore this morning at the start of the subway strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

Subway trains lined up at Stanmore this morning at the start of the subway strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

Waterloo Underground Strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

Waterloo Underground Strike (Jeremy Selwyn)

TfL said as of 2pm on Thursday passenger numbers had been just 10% of normal demand on the Tube and down 86% from the previous week.

But there has been a 16% increase in bus demand – taking it to 93% of normal levels.

Previous metro strike days have caused the number of passengers using the metro to drop to just 4% of normal.

The Elizabeth Line has come to the rescue of many travelers by offering a regular service between Heathrow, Shenfield and Abbey Wood via central London.

At Liverpool Street there was a 43 per cent increase in Elizabeth line passenger numbers, but a 30 per cent reduction at its new Bond Street station, showing how badly the West End is suffering during a strike by the subway.

The north-south Thameslink route through central London was also running, but many peak-hour trains were overcrowded and unable to stop at stations such as Finsbury Park, run by TfL.

Members of the Unite union also took part in the strike, the Tube’s sixth 24-hour walkout in 2022. The RMT had previously shut down the Tube on March 1 and 3, June 6 and 21, and June 19 august.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch and former Labor Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington, joined a picket line at Acton Town station.

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott joined RMT members on a picket line at Seven Sisters station.

John Leach, deputy general secretary of the RMT, said further strikes were “certainly” likely. The RMT’s strike mandate expires in December and union leaders are voting with members for legal approval for another six months of action.

Mr Leach told The Standard: ‘If these pensions are attacked and jobs are taken away and people’s contracts and terms of employment are jeopardized and made worse, we will carry on.’

Asked who was responsible for the disruption, Mr Leach said: ‘Those in power are to blame. It is the government that is depriving Transport for London of the funding it needs.

The scene at Victoria Station earlier Thursday (Jeremy Selwyn)

The scene at Victoria Station earlier Thursday (Jeremy Selwyn)

“Then we have a Mayor of London who seems to want to cope with anything but directing his staff. The staff pension fund has been put on the table for bailout talks.

“The problem with that is that it depends on their millions of pounds in savings, which means our pensions are deteriorating, and we don’t have that.”

Mr Khan said he was forced to agree to ‘onerous’ terms in order to secure £6billion in government bailout funds for TfL.

“Nobody wants to see a strike and I have repeatedly urged the unions to reverse this action and work with TfL to find a solution,” he said.

“This industrial action is having a serious impact on London’s businesses and commuters, at a time when we are working hard to drive the capital’s economic recovery to help us continue to build a better, greener and more prosperous London for all.”

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