A major Tube strike today has resulted in the closure of much of the London Underground network.
Four Tube lines are completely closed during the 24-hour strike by Transport for London (TfL) workers, while six operate a “special service” with trains only running on less central routes.
The London Overground, DLR, London Tram, London Bus and National Rail services are all operating but are expected to be “busier than usual”, TfL has warned, as the Elizabeth line may will be closed at stations that are also served by the subway.
TfL advises people to “avoid travel where possible” and limit essential travel to after 8am and before 6pm.
The RMT Union says the action comes in response to proposals that 600 jobs would be axed and current contracts ripped up, with Secretary-General Mick Lynch “calling for a face-to-face meeting with Mayor Sadiq Khan to clean up this mess”.
“There is no point in our union continuing to face representatives of management who have neither the inclination nor the authority to negotiate an agreement when the power lies with the mayor,” he said.
“I don’t want to see a strike,” says Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer has failed to say whether he supports the tube strikes but accused the government of “starving TfL of the money it needs”.
“What I want is an end to the strikes and a solution. This has to be resolved through negotiations at the end,” the Labor leader told LBC, adding: “I don’t pretend to know all the details, but from what I do know on the issues at stake I think they’re capable are to be resolved. I think they should be resolved. I think that’s in everyone’s interest.”
He accused the government of “starving TfL for the money it needs,” adding: “The decline is actually a direct result of the approach that the government is taking.”
Asked if he supports the strike, he added: “Listen, I don’t want to see a strike. I want to see this resolved. I want this to be negotiated to an agreement. I think the failure or inability to fill those 600 positions has everything to do with government funding, which is why we can’t pretend here that the government is an impartial observer, it’s a key player and they have to step in and put in place and set up the financing.”
Andy GregoryJune 6, 2022 1:05 p.m
Buses and unaffected lines ‘busier than usual’, TfL warns
While buses, DLR, the Elizabeth Line, trams and local transport are unaffected by strikes today, they are “busier than usual”, TfL has warned.
The Transport Authority has urged Londoners to allow more time for journeys and to consider alternatives such as walking and cycling.
Andy GregoryJune 6, 2022 12:37
Strike causes additional congestion on London roads
The tube strike has caused delays on London’s streets, affecting private cars, commercial vehicles and buses.
Location technology company TomTom said traffic congestion was at 71 percent at 8am, up from 64 percent two weeks earlier.
The numbers represent the percentage of additional time required for trips compared to free-flow conditions.
Zoe TidmanJune 6, 2022 12:00
How do commuters react?
Commuters in London have tried to navigate the capital as usual routes have been ground to a halt.
Construction worker Miguel Basantes was stuck at Paddington station trying to get to work in Hampstead.
The 54-year-old said: “There were crowds on Liverpool Street and I waited 20 or 30 minutes. I don’t know how to get to work.”
Meanwhile, Kundan Darla, a 25-year-old restaurant worker, said, “I feel bad, I’m late for work.”
Paul Glennon, a 52-year-old construction worker in central London, said: “Reality has returned for all of us. No more parties and parades.
“I spent all morning boarding in the rain and waiting for full buses.”
Zoe TidmanJune 6, 2022 11:21 am
Rail strikes “not necessarily the best way to guarantee a strong future for the industry”
London is once again overshadowed by a tube strike involving members of the RMT union. Transport for London, the Tube operator, is accused by the union of threatening 600 jobs, tearing up contracts and presenting an “impending threat to pensions”. The railway unions are also planning the nationwide largest railway strike in decades.
In his latest travel podcast, travel correspondent Simon Calder says: “I absolutely understand where the tube workers – and the rail workers – are coming from. They were expected to work all the way through Covid and keep the country moving.”
But, as he points out, public transport finances have been utterly wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic. There is a funding gap of at least 20 percent, and the railroads – underground and above ground – depend on taxpayer support to keep them running.
“I’m not convinced that today’s strike and a national rail shutdown planned for the summer are necessarily the best way to ensure a strong future for the industry,” he says.
Simon KalderJune 6, 2022 11:00 am
How can travelers get around in London during today’s tube strike?
A widespread strike by Transport for London workers today has resulted in the closure of the tube network throughout the city centre.
The disruption is expected to last until after 8am Tuesday 7th June.
TfL advises customers to “avoid travel where possible on Monday 6 June” and “avoid travel before 8am” on Tuesday.
“If you must travel, plan more time for your trip,” the advice reads.
But if you have an important trip, how can you get around London today?
Read our guide to the transport options that are still available:
Helen coffeeJun 6, 2022 10:57 am
Grant Shapps tweets support for Boris Johnson
London is paralyzed by another tube strike. Airlines are still canceling flights by the hundreds. And amid the mounting chaos at UK airports, tens of thousands of passengers are still stranded.
But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has found time to tweet his support for the PM, who faces a confidence vote from Conservative MPs.
Mr Shapps wrote: “With the cost of living rising, war in Europe and an economy in need of a post-Covid recovery, now is not the time for a distracting and divisive leadership contest.
“@BorisJohnson has my support – we must support him to continue his work for the British people.”
The transport minister was one of the prime minister’s staunchest supporters and has consistently defended him in the broadcast media.
Simon KalderJune 6, 2022 10:40 am
London Overground portion suspended
The London Overground is currently partially suspended.
There is no service between Hackney Downs and Cheshunt/Enfield Town due to power supply problems at Stoke Newington.
The rest of the line operates a good service.
Helen coffeeJune 6, 2022 10:20 am
Southwest train pain
With many London commuters switching to National Rail services, the disruption to trains is all the more significant.
The South Western Railway, which runs to the capital from Surrey and Hampshire, is reporting delays due to a switch failure between Raynes Park and New Malden. Although this is outside the Tube network, the issue is disrupting journeys between Surbiton and Wimbledon – where London Underground services normally start.
“Trains may be cancelled, delayed or revised,” the company says. “Passengers wishing to travel to Surbiton from Raynes Park or New Malden should travel to Wimbledon and change there for a service back to Surbiton.”
Simon KalderJune 6, 2022 10:05 am
Heathrow options for arriving and departing air travelers
Passengers traveling via Heathrow can find alternative transport to the usual Piccadilly Line service to and from London.
The strike by members of the RMT union on the London Underground will not affect the Elizabeth Line, which currently operates on three sections.
Trains from Heathrow Terminal 5 depart at one minute and 31 minutes past the hour, stopping six minutes later in the central area serving Terminals 2 and 3.
From the central area there are additional trains at 22 and 52 minutes past the hour.
They travel to London Paddington, where passengers can change trains to continue on the Elizabeth Line to central London and Canary Wharf.
Simon KalderJune 6, 2022 09:51