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Central line to run a reduced service as drivers’ 24-hour strike begins

PUBLISHED: 18:30 25 January 2017

Commuters pack on to a Tube train. Pictures: PA Images/Yui Mok

Commuters pack on to a Tube train. Pictures: PA Images/Yui Mok

PA Wire/Press Association Images

There will be a reduced Central line service across London tomorrow as a strike by drivers begins at 9pm tonight.

The rest of the line, east of Leytonstone, will not run at all, nor will the Waterloo and City line.

The strike has come about after members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union voted in favour of strike action over plans to move staff from Central Line depots in Hainault, Loughton and Leytonstone.

Bus routes in affected areas will be running at an expanded capacity to deal with the added rush hour workload.

Commuters are also advised that TfL Rail and London Overground services are expected to be much busier than normal.

Peter McNaught, the Central line’s operations director, said: “We apologise to customers for the disruption they may experience due to this unnecessary strike.

“We have made all reasonable efforts to resolve this dispute with the RMT through talking through the issues with them, and we have minimised the number of employees affected from 30 to eight.

“We urge the RMT to engage with us to resolve this issue and to withdraw the strike action, which will only cause needless disruption to Londoners.”

But an RMT spokesman defended the strike action.

He said: “RMT negotiators have made strenuous efforts through the ACAS machinery to resolve this dispute but the door has been slammed in our faces.

“Let us be in no doubt, if London Underground are allowed to get away with this move on the Central Line they will start shunting drivers around the combine at the drop of a hat regardless of the consequences.”

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