Londoners said the capital is “becoming unlivable” as strikes across the Tube network left them travelling for hours to get to work.
Transport for London announced that all Underground lines would be suspended today as Tube workers stage industrial action against pay and working conditions.
John Rayner, 28, a construction worker who was waiting for a bus in Paddington, west London, said: “I missed two buses this morning because queues for buses are so long and some buses don’t even bother to stop.
“I walked to Paddington for over an hour as I thought I would have more luck getting a Tube from here. It is a joke. This city is becoming unlivable.”
Office worker Jasmine Keane, 40, said: “I have had to take an Uber to get to work. I don’t even know what time I will get to work with the traffic and weather.”
Commuters in London were being warned of “extremely busy” services during rush-hour amid a widespread Tube strike which has led to disruption on all Underground lines.
The announcement was delivered over speakers to passengers waiting in the rain at Finsbury Park station in north London for a Thameslink service at around 8.30am on Tuesday.
Despite seemingly higher than usual numbers of customers on the platform at Finsbury Park, relatively few were on the platform at St Pancras International for Thameslink trains.
The Thameslink service was experiencing delays of several minutes for most trains.
10,000 staff on strike
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are taking action in a dispute over jobs, pensions and conditions.
London Overground is running a reduced service, while TfL Rail, the Docklands Light Railway and tram services are operating normally.
Transport for London (TfL) has urged commuters to plan ahead of today and Thursday’s Tube strikes, which will affect all lines.
The public body has advised Londoners to work from home if they can or rely on alternative means of transport, as the strikes are expected to create major disruption across the whole TfL network.
“I would ask anyone who needs to use the Tube on 1 and 3 March to check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible,” said TfL’s chief operating officer Andy Lord.
“I apologise to customers for this and understand they will be frustrated by this strike action, but urge them not to take it out on those who are trying to help.”
Andy Lord said the disruption on London’s Tube network on Tuesday and Thursday is different from the strike action held ahead of Christmas last year.
The chief operating officer of Transport for London told LBC: “The dispute is across the entire network, whereas the previous dispute before Christmas was with the Night Tube only with the RMT and on certain lines.
“Today it is covering the whole network. We are hoping to run a limited service on some of the lines but I would really encourage customers to check the TfL website and only travel if their journey is essential.”
He encouraged people to work from home on Tuesday and Thursday. Asked about what provisions have been made for key workers who are not able to work from home, he added: “We’ve laid on extra buses and we also have all our other TfL services which are operating normally.
“We know our customers deserve better than this and that is why we’re urging the RMT to talk to us so we can find a resolution to this dispute and call off this action, which is threatening London’s recovery from the pandemic.”Andy Lord
“I hope that they will be able to get to work without too much of an inconvenience.”
The strikes have been staged by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) over pensions, jobs and working conditions, despite TfL’s reassurance that no jobs will be lost and pensions and terms of conditions will remain unchanged.
In response, the RMT called on mayor Sadiq Khan not to “turn his back on tube workers by siding with a government he know is wrong over pensions and cuts.”
“The mayor can help us solve this dispute by agreeing to talks that fully address the concerns of his own workforce,” said RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch. “For the good of his workers and London’s economic recovery, Sadiq Khan needs to stand firm against the government, stop the pensions raid and end the job massacre.”