Tube staff to strike at 5pm today

COMMUTERS are facing severe disruptions to travel plans this evening as 10,000 London Underground (LU) staff launch a day of industrial action at 5pm.

Transport for London (TfL) and Mayor Boris Johnson have pledged to keep the capital moving during the strike period, which is expected to last until 9pm tomorrow and affect all lines across the network. TfL will add 100 extra buses to busy routes and make available 10,000 more riverboat journeys on the Thames.

Transport unions RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), which represent the striking staff, are at odds with LU management over plans to axe up to 800 station staff. Talks to avert the action failed late last week.

LU maintenance and engineering staff will be the first to leave their posts and will be followed by drivers, signallers, ticketing staff and operational managers four hours later.

Further strikes are planned for 3 October, 2 November, and 28 November.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond has called the strikes “bad for London”. He said: “At a time when public finances are under pressure any strike by tube workers will be seriously damaging.”

Last night 200 Alstom-Metro staff went on strike. They maintain trains on the Jubilee and Northern Lines.