Services in chaos as rail strike continues

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of thousands of rail travellers were forced to endure another day of misery yesterday when some of the capital's busiest commuter services were halted by a second wave of strike action.

South West Trains (SWT) slashed its services by 85 per cent. As a result hundreds of employers chose to operate a half day, with commuters coming in late and leaving early and many others working from home.

More than 350,000 passengers were caught up in the chaos, which the London Chamber of Commerce says has affected up to one in ten of the capital's workforce.

SWT operated only a few extra trains compared with the first two days of the strike on Thursday and Friday last week.South-west London suburbs connecting to Waterloo were worst hit and strikers set up a picket line outside the central London station. Workers had to travel to places served by Connex South Central, causing delays on roads and overcrowding at stations.

With many commuters opting to drive to work, motorists faced congestion on the roads. Traffic jams had built up on the M3 by 6am.

ScotRail cancelled about a quarter of its services in Scotland and introduced an emergency timetable after industrial action by train drivers over pay.