Tube drivers bag £500 bonus for Olympics work

LONDON Underground train drivers will pocket an extra £500 for working during next summer’s Olympics as the city attempts to get sports fans to stadiums on time.

Organisers are relying on the Underground, already overcrowded and with a history of strikes, to ferry spectators to the Olympic venues in the heart of the city and at the Olympic Park in the east of the capital.

Getting people to take the Tube is vital if the tens of thousands of athletes, officials and journalists are to secure a smooth ride on London’s traditionally log-jammed roads and the city is not to ground to a halt.

Politicians have branded London as the “public transport Games”, but earlier this week businesses in the capital complained of uncertainty surrounding the transport plans.

London Underground said yesterday that drivers working between the Olympics and Paralympics will receive the one-off payment, in addition to overtime.

It said it was in recognition of a change in the terms and conditions of working contracts, as the Underground will also stay open one hour later than usual.

The deal, which comes after six months of talks, is separate from ongoing discussions over pay.