Third Tube strike set to bring travel misery

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The Independent Online

Millions of commuters face travel disruption tomorrow as a third 24-hour strike on London Underground (LU) begins.

The strike by the TSSA and RMT transport unions is in protest over job cuts for 650 ticket office staff and 150 station managers.

The stoppage is due to start from tomorrow evening, with services not expected to return to normal until Thursday morning.

The Spurs versus Inter Milan Champions League football match tomorrow night in north London is among the events affected.

Both unions are still at loggerheads with Transport for London (TfL) and most Tube lines are expected to be affected.

TfL has pledged to keep London moving and extra bus and river services are being laid on to get Londoners to work.

Planned roadworks are being delayed or curtailed where possible and TfL will be working to keep road traffic flowing around key transport hubs.

TfL has said that LU was able to operate 40% of its services during the last strike day on October 3.

A fourth stoppage is planned for November 29.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Londoners have shown that they will not be deterred from their daily business by these pointless strikes.

"The action of the union leaderships may cause some inconvenience but we are determined to keep the capital moving by providing a plethora of alternatives so that people can get around.

"Whether by bus, boat or bike when Londoners beat the strike for a third time I hope the RMT and TSSA leaderships will face facts and see that their action achieves nothing aside from depriving their members of another day's pay."

SSA leader Gerry Doherty said: "Boris Johnson has always demonstrated a cavalier approach to the truth throughout his topsy turvy career, as Londoners know from his election pledge to keep open all Tube ticket offices.

"Now he is playing a poor man's Churchill in urging the people to beat a strike that he has caused by tearing up his own election manifesto.

There were delays on the Underground's Victoria line in the early part of the rush-hour today.

The delays were the latest in a series of problems which have affected morning Tube services in recent days.