News | World News | Chaos for London commuters with no Central Line tubes due to strikes

Chaos for London commuters with no Central Line tubes due to strikes

Popular Articles

London commuters face second round of misery on battle home with no tubes on Central or Waterloo and City lines... after strikes caused morning mayhem

  • Londoners enduring horrid commute today amid Tube strikes and major delays
  • Central and Waterloo & City lines are both suspended due to industrial action
  • There is no service on TfL Rail in West London as urgent repairs are carried out
  • RMT says strike is over breakdown in relations and failure to hire enough drivers

By Alexander Robertson and Mark Duell for MailOnline

Published: 02:13 EST, 7 November 2018 | Updated: 15:11 EST, 7 November 2018

299

View
comments

Londoners are facing an uphill struggle to get home tonight as strikes have ground parts of the Tube to a halt. 

Both the Central and Waterloo & City lines were still suspended due to a strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and drivers' union Aslef.

Urgent track repairs on the TfL Rail line between Heathrow and Paddington in West London caused disruptions, leading to crowded platforms and packed carriages.  

To make matters worse, South Western Railway services to and from London Waterloo, the UK's busiest railway station, were delayed by a points failure this morning.

Embankment Station in London was swamped with frustrated commuters today as strikes hit the capital
Embankment Station in London was swamped with frustrated commuters today as strikes hit the capital

Embankment Station in London was swamped with frustrated commuters today as strikes hit the capital

Commuters crowd at Embankment Station in central London as today's Tube strike chaos unfolds 
Commuters crowd at Embankment Station in central London as today's Tube strike chaos unfolds 

Commuters crowd at Embankment Station in central London as today's Tube strike chaos unfolds 

The strikes hit the Central line, which serves Ealing Broadway (pictured) among many others in the capital 
The strikes hit the Central line, which serves Ealing Broadway (pictured) among many others in the capital 

The strikes hit the Central line, which serves Ealing Broadway (pictured) among many others in the capital 

Buses, trains and other Tube lines are expected to be busier this evening due to the lack of service on one of the busiest Underground lines. 

Some commuters gave up trying to travel and worked from home, while others accused the unions of 'making London suffer with your stupidity and stubbornness'.

Many have vented their fury on social media, as some questioned Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's handling of the workers' grievances. Others pointed out that the strikes fell, somewhat ironically, on Stress Awareness Day.

Other services are expected to be busier as commuters find alternative routes home from work
Other services are expected to be busier as commuters find alternative routes home from work

Other services are expected to be busier as commuters find alternative routes home from work

There is no service on the Central Line. these images show commuters sstruggling to make their way through the congestion at Liverpool Street today
There is no service on the Central Line. these images show commuters sstruggling to make their way through the congestion at Liverpool Street today

There is no service on the Central Line. these images show commuters sstruggling to make their way through the congestion at Liverpool Street today

Dozens of commuters are facing longer journeys due to the strikes on the Central and Waterloo and City lines
Dozens of commuters are facing longer journeys due to the strikes on the Central and Waterloo and City lines

Dozens of commuters are facing longer journeys due to the strikes on the Central and Waterloo and City lines

Commuters try to board a packed Circle line train at Liverpool Street station this morning
Commuters try to board a packed Circle line train at Liverpool Street station this morning

Commuters try to board a packed Circle line train at Liverpool Street station this morning

Tens of thousands of commuters suffered travel misery on Wednesday because of a strike by London Underground workers and a points failure at the country's busiest railway station, London Waterloo
Tens of thousands of commuters suffered travel misery on Wednesday because of a strike by London Underground workers and a points failure at the country's busiest railway station, London Waterloo

Tens of thousands of commuters suffered travel misery on Wednesday because of a strike by London Underground workers and a points failure at the country's busiest railway station, London Waterloo

Commuters try to board the 94 bus towards Oxford Circus in Shepherd's Bush this morning
Commuters try to board the 94 bus towards Oxford Circus in Shepherd's Bush this morning

Commuters try to board the 94 bus towards Oxford Circus in Shepherd's Bush this morning

Commuters wait for a bus in Shepherd's Bush today as Central Line services are suspended
Commuters wait for a bus in Shepherd's Bush today as Central Line services are suspended

Commuters wait for a bus in Shepherd's Bush today as Central Line services are suspended

An entrance at Embankment Underground station was closed to commuters today to regulate the amount of people entering the station
An entrance at Embankment Underground station was closed to commuters today to regulate the amount of people entering the station

An entrance at Embankment Underground station was closed to commuters today to regulate the amount of people entering the station

A commuter reads a sign about the Tube strike through the barriers at Shepherd's Bush today 
A commuter reads a sign about the Tube strike through the barriers at Shepherd's Bush today 

A commuter reads a sign about the Tube strike through the barriers at Shepherd's Bush today 

Commuters wait in line for a bus today as the Central Line Tube strike grips the capital
Commuters wait in line for a bus today as the Central Line Tube strike grips the capital

Commuters wait in line for a bus today as the Central Line Tube strike grips the capital

The RMT said the Tube dispute was over a 'comprehensive breakdown' in industrial relations, a failure to employ enough drivers, abuse of agreed procedures and the victimisation of a trade union member.

There are believed to have now been 15 strikes under Mr Khan, including 11 Tube strikes, one bus strike, one Docklands Light Railway strike and two Dial-a-Ride strikes.

The action crippled Tube services this morning, causing travel chaos for commuters and other passengers - with those on the fringes of London especially badly hit.

The RMT said its members were 'standing rock solid' this morning at the start of the 24 hours of action, which follows a Piccadilly Line strike being called off yesterday.

Passengers catching flights at Heathrow faced a double whammy of disruption, as they were warned a 'technical issue' affecting lighting could affect their journeys.

Britain's largest airport said there was a problem with the lighting on the runways early this morning, although it was resolved shortly after 6am. 

Commuters wait under umbrellas for a train at Ilford TfL Rail station in East London today
Commuters wait under umbrellas for a train at Ilford TfL Rail station in East London today

Commuters wait under umbrellas for a train at Ilford TfL Rail station in East London today

Striking workers pose outside White City station on the Central Line in West London today
Striking workers pose outside White City station on the Central Line in West London today

Striking workers pose outside White City station on the Central Line in West London today

Tube workers on the picket line at West Ruislip station in West London this morning
Tube workers on the picket line at West Ruislip station in West London this morning

Tube workers on the picket line at West Ruislip station in West London this morning

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union strike in East London this morning
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union strike in East London this morning

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union strike in East London this morning

Vintage Routemaster buses were brought in today to help with the higher demand. Pictured is one of them on the 66 route between Romford and Leytonstone in East London this morning
Vintage Routemaster buses were brought in today to help with the higher demand. Pictured is one of them on the 66 route between Romford and Leytonstone in East London this morning

Vintage Routemaster buses were brought in today to help with the higher demand. Pictured is one of them on the 66 route between Romford and Leytonstone in East London this morning

SWR said it had been informed by Network Rail that a set of points has failed at London Waterloo so that three platforms were not in use.

What the union says about the Tube strike

'RMT members are standing absolutely rock solid and united the length of the Central Line this morning as they send out the clearest possible signal that they will not be bullied into accepting a wholesale undermining of workplace justice and rights.

'Industrial relations along the Central Line have been at breaking point for some time now and the failure of the management to address the issues, and a conscious decision to up the ante by attempting to single out and pick off individual members of staff, has tipped the situation over the edge and has led to the strike action today.

'The union is angry and frustrated that the management side have squandered a golden opportunity over the past week to resolve the issues at the heart of the dispute through the talks process.

'Today's action is the clearest possible demonstration to tube bosses of the level of anger on the job and it's down to them to take the situation seriously and engage in genuine talks around reaching a solution to the current disputes.' 

It said: 'We are expecting cancellations to some services arriving at London Waterloo this morning, as well as delays because of the lost capacity of platforms.

'We strongly recommend you check your journey before you travel this morning.'

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: 'RMT members are standing absolutely rock solid and united the length of the Central Line this morning as they send out the clearest possible signal that they will not be bullied into accepting a wholesale undermining of workplace justice and rights.

'Industrial relations along the Central Line have been at breaking point for some time now and the failure of the management to address the issues, and a conscious decision to up the ante by attempting to single out and pick off individual members of staff, has tipped the situation over the edge and has led to the strike action today.

'The union is angry and frustrated that the management side have squandered a golden opportunity over the past week to resolve the issues at the heart of the dispute through the talks process.

'Today's action is the clearest possible demonstration to tube bosses of the level of anger on the job and it's down to them to take the situation seriously and engage in genuine talks around reaching a solution to the current disputes.' 

Finn Brennan, of Aslef, said: 'Management's pig-headed intransigence will mean major disruption on the Underground, but the issues underlying this dispute - fair treatment at work and complying with agreements - aren't just confined to a couple of areas.

'The Aslef executive is to discuss resolutions from our branches on the Hammersmith & City and Northern Lines asking to be balloted for action, with other branches set to follow.

'Unless there is a rapid change of approach from management, working inside existing agreements instead of trying to circumvent or 'reinterpret' them, then the likelihood is there will be a network-wide shutdown in the run-up to Christmas.'

Nigel Holness, managing director of London Underground, said: 'The strike action called by Aslef is totally unjustifiable.

'The union is demanding the reinstatement of a Central line driver sacked over a serious safety breach after deliberately opening the doors of a train in a tunnel.

'We always strive to run a reliable service for our customers but our commitment to the safety of both customers and staff is absolute and something we will never compromise on. 

Alternative routes: Urgent track repairs on the TfL Rail line between Heathrow and Paddington in West London caused disruptions, leading to crowded platforms and packed carriages
Alternative routes: Urgent track repairs on the TfL Rail line between Heathrow and Paddington in West London caused disruptions, leading to crowded platforms and packed carriages

Alternative routes: Urgent track repairs on the TfL Rail line between Heathrow and Paddington in West London caused disruptions, leading to crowded platforms and packed carriages

'I urge Aslef to call off this entirely unnecessary strike action which will only cause disruption to our customers.'

Keith Prince, the Greater London Authority Conservatives transport spokesman, said: 'Sadiq Khan described Boris Johnson's strikes record as a 'disgrace'.

'Yet after only two and half years in the job he already has the worst average strikes record of any Mayor of London.

'Londoners elected Sadiq Khan after he pledged that there would be zero strikes under his leadership, but it is clear he has spectacularly failed to keep this promise.

'London desperately needs a Mayor who will stand up to the unions rather than letting them wreak havoc.' 

Research from commuting subscription service Commuter Club found one in ten commuters will avoid the chaos in London and take today as a 'duvet day'.

Delay misery for hundreds of London-bound airline passengers as landing strip lights at Heathrow fail to turn on 

Flights to Heathrow Airport were delayed by up to three hours today after a 'technical issue' affected lighting on the runways.

The problem left some London-bound passengers stranded at US airports, with those travelling from Las Vegas, Miami and New York among those affected.

Some passengers compared the issue to an incident in the 1990 thriller Die Hard 2, which sees terrorists turn off the runway lights at an airport in Washington. 

Twitter user Shaan Khan wrote from New York: 'We are on BA116 and ground staff at JFK Airport not opening the door so we can talk to someone. Pilot growing impatient as are passengers.'

Passenger Davey Hunt posted: 'On the ground in Atlanta due to Heathrow light failure. The bar is open and I'm not working tomorrow so not that fussed.'

Heathrow said the problem was resolved by 6.05am, but that customers should still check their flight status with their airline before travelling.

Nearly one in seven flights due to land at Heathrow between 6am and 8.59am were delayed by more than 15 minutes, according to figures from aviation data firm FlightStats. This included 11 flights delayed by more than 45 minutes.

London Heathrow Airport flights were delayed after a runway lighting issue (file picture)
London Heathrow Airport flights were delayed after a runway lighting issue (file picture)

London Heathrow Airport flights were delayed after a runway lighting issue (file picture)

The worst delay was to a United Airlines flight from Newark, near New York, which was operating three hours and five minutes behind schedule.

Out of 64 scheduled departures between 6am and 7.59am, there was one cancellation and five flights were delayed.

A Heathrow spokesman said: 'Our engineering teams are investigating a technical issue with the lighting system for the airport's runways.

'We have activated our contingency plans and both runways are currently open and operational, although we anticipate there will be some delays at the airport throughout this morning.

'For the latest information, passengers should check their flight status with their airlines before travelling to the airport. We apologise for any impact this might have on our passengers.'

A spokesman for British Airways said: 'There was an issue with Heathrow Airport's airfield lighting during the night.

'Contingency plans were quickly activated and we plan to operate our full schedule today, albeit with some delays.

'We're asking customers that are due to travel with us today to continue to monitor ba.com for any updates to their flight.'

 

Advertisement

Most watched News videos

MOST READ NEWS

View All

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

By Shawn Arnette 07/11/2018 15:11:00