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’

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee