London Tube strikes: Millions suffer another day of travel chaos

Only one London Underground line was running as of 7am on Thursday

Londoners struggled through a third day of travel misery as Tube strikes wreaked havoc on millions of journeys due to staff staging a 24-hour strike.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walked out for 24 hours in a deadlocked dispute over jobs, pensions and conditions.

Picket lines were mounted outside Tube stations and the union said its members were solidly supporting the industrial action.

It was the second one-day strike this week, but the knock-on effect has combined to cause disruption since Tuesday and will likely last well into Friday.

Members of the public had to find alternative ways of travelling around the capital, or work from home.

Sharon Lennox, 31, a security officer who was waiting for a bus at Oxford Circus said: “It is OK for some. They don’t have to stand here all day wasting time.

“I am not one of those who are lucky enough to work from home. I have been tapping on the bus doors and the drivers pretend they can’t see.”

Almost all London Underground lines were completely suspended as of 7am on Thursday. Only the Central line was running a partial service.

The Docklands Light Railway was also part-suspended and the London Overground was operating a reduced service, according to Transport for London’s website.

By mid-morning there was a reduced service on the Piccadilly, Northern and District lines.

There were huge queues at bus and taxi ranks as people switched to other forms of public transport to get to work.

Mims Davies, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex, said Thursday would be “another huge struggle” for people in her constituency trying to make their way to London.

A photo posted on Twitter showed crowds queueing outside Gospel Oak overground station in north London. A witness said security personnel had been sent across the road to keep the “crazy” situation under control.

One man named Adam who runs a walking tour company in the capital said he was determined to cater for customers on Thursday, despite the huge setbacks the strikes would cause to journeys.

“Pandemic, Tube strike… what next? Plague of locusts? My fragile but lovely small business will not be derailed. I’m walking to my tours today. If I can get there I will be waiting for you.”

Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum in Smithfield said it was being forced to close early due to volunteers not being able to travel.

"St. Bartholomew's Hospital Museum will be closed from 1pm on Thursday 3 March due to volunteer absence during the current Tube strike. Apologies for any inconvenience caused," the museum tweeted.

On Tuesday the London Underground ground to a halt with its first strike action since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Workers staged a walkout, leaving the majority of lines suspended. On Wednesday there was severe disruption for commuters due to knock-on effects. Londoners have been warned of further travel disruption on Friday.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) Union members on the Piccadilly and District lines stood outside stations as early as 4.30am to make their voices heard.

They accused the Conservative-led government of an “ideologically motivated attack” on their working conditions.

“Londoners need to realise that if the government get their way then your local bus route could be gone, your local station either closed or unstuffed,” they added.

While some people expressed empathy for the striking workers, others branded the strikes a joke.

One man said he felt “fed up” of the strikes and claimed Transport for London workers are “so pampered while the rest of London actually work with no unions, less money and benefits.”

“What a joke,” he added.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said members would “not be derailed in our determination to reach a just settlement that protects jobs and pensions of Tube workers".

Updated: March 03, 2022, 11:32 AM
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