Whilst we’re in the throws of a wonderful Jubilee weekend (well, not for your writer who happens to be stuck whilst his car is being serviced), it seems the RMT union is staging a strike on London Underground.
The strike is over station staff cuts, with Transport for London seeking to cut 600 jobs across the network.
According to TfL, they are advising the following:
On Monday, 6 June:
- Many Tube stations will be closed throughout the day
- If you need to travel, try to do it after 08:00 and complete your journey by 18:00
- Train services will be running but many stations, especially those in the centre, will be closed
- The strike should not affect the new Elizabeth line, which is not a Tube service. However, services may be busier than usual, so check before you travel
On Tuesday, June 7:
- Some stations may still be closed at the beginning of the day
- If you need to travel, try to do it after 08:00
Bus, National Rail Services (including the Elizabeth Line), DLR, Trams, Boats and even the Dangleway will operate as normal – as well as your own feet and cycles to navigate Central London.
What to expect
With some of the major arteries of London out of action, people will seek alternative methods to get from A to B. As such, it is likely buses will be rammed solid all day. The Elizabeth line will be similarly rammed too (along with Thameslink), being the main people movers through the city (and in effect, the first real stress test of the new line.
Taxis will be in short supply through the day and if Ola/Bolt/Uber isn’t imposing surge pricing, I’ll honestly be surprised.
In addition, if you are using National Rail and other TfL services from stations also served by London Underground, check before you travel for possible station closures.
It’s not rosy, to put it mildly.
The TfL Strike page is at https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/tube-strike.
Going to and from London Heathrow?
The Piccadilly line will be affected by the strikes and thus services will be impacted, Your choices will be:
- The Elizabeth line between Heathrow and Paddington
- Heathrow Express between Heathrow and Paddington
- National Express and its friends
Note that there will be no ticket acceptance during these strikes. Standard fares and charges will apply for alternative journeys.
General Secretary Mick Lynch of the Rail Transport and Maritime Union said:
“TfL is trying to bulldoze through 600 job losses on London Underground and our members are not prepared to accept that.
“Station staff play a crucial role in serving the travelling public and were heroes during the 7/7 terrorist attacks.
“Instead of seeking to cut jobs, TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan need to put further pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so we can have a properly staffed modern 21st century tube.”
Andy Lord, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“I want to apologise to our customers for the RMT’s disappointing strike action on Monday 6 June, which will have a significant impact on the Tube network and we advise people to only travel if necessary on this day, as many stations may be closed. Alternatives to the Tube, including the bus and rail networks, are likely to be much busier than usual. We expect the severe disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of Tuesday 7 June and I’m sorry for the impact this will have on people’s journeys next week.
“This strike is particularly frustrating as no changes have been proposed to pensions and nobody has or will lose their job as a result of the proposals we have set out. We’re urging the RMT to call off this strike and to work with us to find a resolution and avoid the disruption this strike will cause to people’s journeys and to the economy.”
Planning won’t help much. But its a good idea
Strikes on the underground never help the travelling passenger or commuter. For those who have been used to working at home and have been engaging in “Agile working”, this is the perfect excuse to work from home.
For those visiting the city, I have a simple piece of advice – London is very walkable. It’ll also be the quickest way around the city unless you’re going some major distance across the Zone 1 area.
If you’re brave, there’s always the Cycle Hire scheme, although I expect that to be pretty sparse as people hang onto them through the day.
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