Tube drivers will stage a 24-hour strike on the Central and Waterloo & City lines from 9pm tonight

 
Rebecca Smith
A strike earlier this month resulted in most Zone 1 stations shutting
A strike earlier this month resulted in most Zone 1 stations shutting (Source: Getty)

Tube drivers on Central Line East will start a 24-hour strike from 9pm tonight, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced.

The union said the strike, also affecting the Waterloo & City Line, will finish at 20:59 on Thursday 26 January. RMT said the dispute is over the "forced displacement" of staff.

Read more: Every route from Waterloo station to Bank, ranked

TfL doesn't expect there to be much disruption today, with the Waterloo & City Line wrapping up about an hour earlier than usual. But on Thursday, there will be no service on the Waterloo & City Line, no service east of Leytonstone on the Central Line and reduced service on the rest of the line.

Mick Cash, RMT's general secretary, said:

RMT negotiators have made strenuous efforts through the Acas machinery to resolve this dispute but the door has been slammed in our faces.

With massive budget cuts in the pipeline at London Underground this is a straw in the wind as to how the company expects to operate in the future.

Staff across London Underground are angry and the company would be wise to recognise that. The action is on and RMT remains available for serious talks.

Peter McNaught, operations director for the Central Line, said: "We apologise to customers for the disruption they may experience due to this unnecessary strike. We have made all reasonable efforts to resolve this dispute with the RMT through talking through the issues with them, and we have minimised the number of employees affected from 30 to eight."

Read more: Mayor blames strike troubles on "toxic hangover" left from Boris Johnson

It comes as London Underground bosses remain embroiled in talks with union reps in a separate dispute over staffing levels at stations. It's a bid to avoid further strikes, after a 24-hour one held by members of the RMT union and the TSSA caused travel headaches in the capital earlier this month.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "Our negotiating team will continue engaging in Acas talks with London Underground for the remainder of this week. Frankly, this dispute has been going on for far too long and our members' patience is running wafer thin."

He has said if an agreement isn't reached by the end of the week, more strike action will follow.

Here's how the Central Line strike action might affect you:

  • No service east of Leytonstone on the Central Line on Thursday
  • A reduced service running on the rest of the Central Line for all of Thursday
  • No Waterloo & City Line for Thursday
  • All other transport services will be unaffected - though could be busier in places as travellers find alternative routes
  • Local bus services for customers east of Leytonstone will be boosted
  • A specialist bus shuttle service will run between Epping and Chingford - calling at Epping, Debden, Loughton and Chingford

Which stations will be particularly busy?

  • TfL Rail services between Romford and Stratford, particularly Ilford station
  • London Overground lines and stations between Liverpool Street and Chingford
  • Victoria Line and stations, especially Walthamstow Central
  • The Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo

And in case you missed it...

Here's how to get from Waterloo to Bank when the Waterloo & City Line is down - all the routes, ranked.

Meanwhile, yesterday's train derailment at Lewisham is continuing to cause havoc across the Southeastern network, with several services suspended.

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