Hopes raised for talks to resolve Tube dispute

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The Independent Online

London Underground said services were running on more than half of its lines today despite a continued strike by Tube workers, as hopes were raised of fresh talks to resolve the dispute.

Managers said there was a good service on the Northern line and they aimed to increase the number of trains throughout the day, with the 48-hour strike due to end at 7pm tonight.

Hopes emerged of renewed talks with the Rail Maritime and Transport union to try to break the deadlocked row over pay, jobs and disciplinary issues.

The main sticking point appeared to be over jobs, with the union pressing for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies under plans to axe over 1,000 posts.

Richard Parry, interim managing director of LU, said: "I want to join Londoners in thanking our hard-working Tube and transport staff who came to work yesterday and kept London moving, and got many thousands of football fans to and from last night's England match at Wembley.

"We're running services on more than half of our lines this morning, and I hope that we will be able to add to that throughout the day.

"Those travelling in London should continue to check before they travel, and we will keep doing everything possible to get you to where you need to be."

LU issued an early morning bulletin of Tube services, including:

* Northern line - good service.

* Jubilee line - shuttle service between Stanmore and Wembley Park, and between Stratford and Waterloo.

* Victoria line - shuttle service between Victoria and Seven Sisters.

* District line - shuttle service from Wimbledon to High Street Kensington.

* Metropolitan line - shuttle service between Baker Street and Harrow-on-the-Hill.

* Piccadilly line - shuttle service between Arnos Grove and Cockfosters.

London Mayor Boris Johnson was meeting commuters near London Bridge this morning to explain the efforts being made to provide alternative transport, including more buses and free river rides.

Transport for London (TfL) said it was waiting to see a draft proposal on redundancies from the RMT, adding it was ready to meet the union under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas.

A TfL spokesman said: "Last night, we were in contact with the RMT leadership who had been sent a draft on redundancies by Acas. The RMT told us that they had amended that draft and sent it back to Acas.

"We welcome this development and look forward to receiving the draft this morning and we are preparing for further discussions at Acas as soon as possible.

"We continue to urge the RMT leadership to call off this strike, to avoid further unnecessary disruption to London."

TfL said almost 58,000 soccer fans travelled safely to and from Wembley Stadium last night to see England beat Andorra 6-0 in a World Cup qualifier..

Services ran on the Jubilee line and Metropolitan line serving Wembley Park and, after the game, special Bakerloo line shuttle services were laid on from Wembley Central.

Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: "I am delighted that we were able to help so many fans get to and from the game safely. Despite the RMT strike, we provided Tube services on three lines and laid on many extra bus services after the game.

"I also want to thank fans for their patience and for acting on advice to allow extra time for their journeys and making special efforts themselves."

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