Commuters face more Tube misery as RMT members vote to strike on Northern Line alcohol dismissal

Emma Haslett
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The Tube strike could take place from next week (Source: Getty)

There's more Tube misery on the way for London commuters - members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union today voted in favour of a Tube strike, after a driver was dismissed for allegedly failing an alcohol breath test before he went on duty.

The vote means the strike could take place any time after 18 February. Just under half of London Underground's 3,200 drivers belong to the union, meaning it could cause serious disruption.

The dispute has been raging since June last year, when Northern Line driver Alex McGuigan was tested twice at Morden train depot, just before his train went into service, the only one of several drivers tested that day to fail.

RMT insists diabetes - which McGuigan suffers from - can affect the testing equipment, but Tube bosses have dubbed it "defending the indefensible".

Nigel Holness, London Underground operations manager for the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines, told the Evening Standard:

You wouldn’t let someone who had been drinking alcohol drive your family in a car and we don’t let people who have been drinking alcohol drive other peoples’ families in Tube trains.

Commuters are already due to be hit with travel chaos this Friday, as half of London's buses are put out of action when staff walk out over pay.

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