Tube strike: Millions face second day of disruption and chaos as all sides agree to Friday talks to resolve dispute

The RMT and TSSA have committed to talks on Friday aimed at resolving the dispute ahead of further industrial action next week

Londoners are facing a second morning of Tube disruption as unions carry out strike action in opposition to planned job cuts and ticket office closures.

The London Underground is offering a limited service after the first of two 48-hour strikes began on Tuesday night.

The RMT and TSSA have committed to talks tomorrow aimed at resolving the dispute ahead of further industrial action next week. 

London Underground (LU) urged them to meet earlier and suspend the action.

The unions have been calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to meet them to discuss the controversial closures, which could see the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.

The mayor had refused to meet the unions unless they called off the industrial action.

The conciliation service Acas said in a brief statement: "The parties in the London Underground dispute have agreed to come in and continue exploratory talks at Acas this Friday, February 7."

The RMT leader, Bob Crow, said: "Our negotiators are geared up and ready to enter the exploratory talks on Friday.

"In the meantime the current action continues with the rock-solid support of our members and we will be back out on the picket lines early tomorrow morning as the strike heads into its third day."

Read more:
Tories mull plans to ban all-out strikes in key transport services
Are lives at risk from ‘lethal overcrowding’

Yesterday, London commuters suffered a day of travel chaos and overcrowding amid massive disruption on the Tube service, buses and roads.

Queues built up at bus stops, Tube stations, river-boat stops and on roads into the capital from before dawn.

Union leaders accused Transport for London (TfL) of under-estimating the impact of a 48-hour strike over controversial plans to close all Tube ticket offices.

Commuters complained of packed Tubes and buses as well as trains, as people switched to other forms of transport to get to work.

London Underground (LU) said it was operating train services on eight out of 11 lines despite the "completely unnecessary" strike.

The London Tube network sees some three million trips a day.

The Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, said 86 per cent of Londoners who usually paid for travel using their Oyster cards had done so as normal on Wednesday. This claim was disputed by the TSSA  who argued the service had been reduced by 70 per cent.

RMT said that this image showed 'lethal overcrowding' as a result of Tube services overstretched by union strike action RMT said that this image showed 'lethal overcrowding' as a result of Tube services overstretched by union strike action

Bob Crow slammed LU's preparation for the strike saying: "It does Londoners no favours to be told by London Underground that stations will be open, only to turn up and find the gates slammed shut.

"The unions said from the outset that if we were forced to take this action, with the cuts-gun levelled at our heads, it would be solid with widespread and serious disruption, and that is exactly what has happened despite a stream of misleading and bogus information from TfL.

"Instead of pumping up ridiculous publicity stunts like the 'volunteer ambassador' nonsense, LU should be around the table with us settling this dispute which is simply about austerity cuts to jobs, safety and services," he added.

LU managing director, Mike Brown, welcomed the prospect of new talks last night: "We welcome further talks, and the unions' decision to return to Acas, but why wait till Friday?

"I call on the leaderships of the RMT and TSSA to meet us tomorrow and to suspend Thursday's strike so we can get on with talks to resolve this issue and avoid any more unnecessary disruption to Londoners."

Transport for London claims its changes to ticketing arrangements at Tube stations will lead to 960 job losses, but that none of them will be compulsory. The company also believe the move will modernise systems and save £50m a year.

The strike action has prompted calls for the London Underground to be treated as an 'essential service', meaning that a minimum service agreement would be in place in which staff would be required to keep a core level of service in place despite industrial action.

The two-day strike has also seen calls from London Mayor Boris Johnson, who described the industrial action as "pointless and unnecessary", call for a ban on industrial action affecting London transport, unless it was supported by more than 50 per cent of union members eligible to be balloted.

Perhaps the sequel to ‘12 Years a Slave’ should be called ‘20 Minutes’ Walk to Charing Cross’ Perhaps the sequel to ‘12 Years a Slave’ should be called ‘20 Minutes’ Walk to Charing Cross’

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week