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Commuters in battle to get home as Tube strike hits

PUBLISHED: 15:57 10 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:26 05 October 2010

COMMUTERS are getting ready to join tonight’s miserable London trudge home’ after the first full day of the Tube workers’ 48-hour strike. The misery is likely to be a repeat of this-morning’s chaos, when most Underground lines were hit, with only a few trains were running here and there

By Mike Brooke

COMMUTERS are getting ready to join tonight’s London trudge home’ after the first full day of the Tube workers’ 48-hour strike.

The misery is likely to be a repeat of this-morning’s chaos, when most Underground lines were hit, with only a few trains were running here and there.

The Circle and Hammersmith & City are at a standstill, so is the Waterloo & City.

The Metropolitan is not running between Aldgate and Baker Street on shared tracks with the Circle, but has a shuttle between Baker Street Wembley Park.

SHUTTLE

The District has nothing through East London and the City or along the other leg of the Circle through Tower Hill and Monument, but has a shuttle between High Street Kensington and Wimbledon.

The Central is running to Liverpool Street through East London from Epping and Hainault, but no further.

The Jubilee is operating “with minor delays,” while the Northern has a good service, according to London Underground. The Victoria, Piccadilly and Bakerloo are running shuttle services.

London Underground hopes to run the Hammersmith & City from Whitechapel tonight.

TRAVEL CHECK

Tube bosses are urging passengers to check on the Transport for London website before travelling.

They drew up contingency plans this-morning with extra buses on key routes. Commuters coming into Liverpool Street on National Rail, which is unaffected, crammed the pavement along Bishopsgate to catch buses for the last leg of their journey.

Taxi drivers ran a fixed-fare shared’ service from six main-line rail terminals, while free Thames river boat services were operating at Tower Pier, Canary Wharf and other destinations.

Five escorted’ cycle routes for those peddling into Central London set off at 7.45am from Mile End in East London, Finsbury Park in the north, Swiss Cottage in the north west, Hammersmith in the west and Brixton in the south.

TALKS

The 48-hour strike went ahead after London Underground lawyers pulled the rug on negotiations, the RMT union claimed.

Union’s General Secretary Bob Crow said: “We put together a deal which could have settled the dispute—only for lawyers at the last minute pulling the rug from under a workable agreement.”

But London Underground insisted it was the union which walked out.

London Assembly Members today condemned the strike. Richard Tracey, who tabled a resolution attacking the RMT, said: “This is the last thing Londoners need.

“Bob Crow ought to be run out of town or be consigned to the dinosaurs’ group in the Science Museum.”


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