Talks are being held in a bid to stave off a big DLR strike later this week that could disrupt thousands of Londoners

 
Rebecca Smith
The strike will affect service across the DLR
The strike will affect service across the DLR (Source: TfL)

Talks are being held at conciliation service Acas in an effort to stave off a four-day DLR strike planned for later this week that could cause huge disruption for travellers as it coincides with the London marathon.

The row is between the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and KeolisAmey Docklands, which operates the DLR on behalf of Transport for London (TfL).

It's a dispute over a number of workplace issues between the RMT and KeolisAmey Docklands, spanning what the union has called payroll and taxation failures to "attacks on rostering agreements", it said would impede work/life balance.

Read more: A big DLR strike will go ahead this week - over the London Marathon

Abdellah Chajai, KeolisAmey Docklands' MD, has said the firm remains committed to "meaningful and reasonable discussion" with the union to resolve the issues.

At the moment, a walkout has been called from 4am on Friday 20 April to 4am on Tuesday 24 April, but talks are underway today in a bid to get it called off.

Last time there was a 48-hour walkout because of the row, TfL provided a special service on part of the DLR, which wrapped up at 4pm both days.

TfL has warned that thousands of people could be disrupted due to the strike, with around 40,000 people alone taking part in the marathon which is on Sunday 22 April, and many others gathering to watch.

If the strike does go ahead, some stations and parts of Tube lines are likely to be busier than usual. TfL will provide more information later today depending on how the Acas talks pan out.

The DLR, London Underground and London Overground usually lay on extra services on the race day as there are a number of road closures (more on those here), so it's likely the Underground and Overground will be busier as a result, with the likes of London Bridge, Waterloo, Canning Town, Canada Water and Bank likely to be very busy.

Last time round, TfL said the Jubilee, Central, District and Hammersmith & City Lines in east London and the London Overground between Highbury & Islington and Surrey Quays would be busier than usual too.

Mark Davis, TfL’s interim general manager of the DLR, said:

Millions of pounds are raised for charity at the London Marathon and we don’t want to see the thousands of people who have signed up to run, or their supporters, disrupted.

We urge RMT and KeolisAmey Docklands to continue with discussions to settle their dispute. If the strike goes ahead, we will work with the operator to provide as much of a service as possible. We will ensure customers have all the information they need to re-plan their journeys during this unnecessary strike.

Read more: What you need to know about the massive DLR strike coming up this week

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