London Tube strikes and road closures threaten platinum jubilee travel chaos

Four-day weekend in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 70 years on UK throne could be derailed by transport disruption

Packed London Underground services are expected to be a feature of the jubilee weekend. PA
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A potent mix of London Tube strikes, rail disruptions and 133,000 road closures look likely to trigger travel bedlam over Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee weekend.

London Underground workers at two stations are to strike on Friday, June 3, the second bank holiday of the four-day bonanza celebrating the UK monarch's 70 years on the throne, which The National has chronicled in pictures.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Euston and Green Park will walk out on June 3 unless their complaints about bullying are addressed.

"Staff at Euston and Green Park have suffered years of sustained bullying and intimidation by a manager who has created a toxic working environment," said RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch.

"The union has tried in vain to reason with management, but they now will not let local representatives be part of a review into dismissals at the stations, instigated by the manager in question.

"Our strike on June 3 will cause significant disruption to people wishing to celebrate the queen's jubilee.

"However, if Tube bosses do the right thing, and deal appropriately with the manager in question, we can find a just resolution to this dispute."

A Transport for London spokesperson said: "We hold our people to high standards and ensure everyone is treated fairly.

"We're aware of this dispute and are carrying out an urgent review in a bid to resolve it.

"We have had a number of meetings with the RMT and are urging them not to take strike action and to continue working with us to find a resolution."

While neither Tube station threatening strike action is on the Elizabeth Line, the knock-on effect will likely see the route get an early test after it officially opens on May 24.

Rail services at half capacity

It is not just rail travel in London that could be problematic, rail travel into the capital also appears likely to be fraught with difficulty.

About half of train companies operating services into London have warned about disruption to their services and told customers to "check before you travel".

One of the worst affected is south-east operator Southern, which will have no services running on June 4 into some of the capital's biggest rail junctions, including London Victoria, London Bridge and Clapham Junction.

Green Flag predicts 133,000 road closures

Motorists are also facing disruption with UK breakdown company Green Flag saying that planned street parties could cause “havoc".

About 10 per cent of respondents in its recent survey said their road would be holding an event, which Green Flag calculated could mean that up to 133,000 UK roads are rendered inaccessible.

Organisers of the celebrations will be hoping the UK's snarled roads and semi-functioning rail services do not impinge too greatly on the celebratory events that will take place in and around London throughout the weekend.

These include the Platinum Party at the Palace, a star-studded concert headlined by Diana Ross; the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, featuring thousands of people from across the UK and the Commonwealth participating in street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume; and the The Derby at Epsom Downs, which will be attended by the queen and other members of the UK royal family.

Watch: Queen Elizabeth attends platinum jubilee equestrian show

Updated: May 20, 2022, 6:51 AM
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