Tube strike today: Ultimate Q&A survival guide

Beat the strikes and get filled in on why they’re happening with our handy guide

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The Independent Online

Rail workers and Tube drivers are set to strike in a matter of hours, leaving commuters in the capital seeking alternative options for travel.

Here is our Q&A to help your travel plans beat the strikes, and fill you in on why they’re occurring.

When are the strikes?

The strikes start at 6.30pm today, finishing at 9.30 on Thursday, however disruption is likely to run into Friday morning, London Underground has said.

What underground lines are affected?

All of them. For the first time in 13 years, the entire Tube network will shut down over the strike.

What other transport can I use?

We have a handy guide for just this question but in brief, the overground, DLR, trams, bikes, buses, river service, Emirates Air Line and taxis.

What’s the best way to find out about other travel?

There are a host of apps you can use for different travel arrangements if you have a smartphone.

In addition, Tfl has many live feeds of travel updates, on Twitter and on their main site.

Why are Tube drivers striking?

Essentially over the night Tube services, safety concerns and pay. Strikes were called after TfL and unions failed to agree a pay deal over the new services.

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of the Tube driver's union, ASLEF, said yesterday: “We believe in the Night Tube because we believe that London, which is one of the world’s greatest capital cities, deserves a 24 hour public transport service.

"But we also believe in a proper work/life balance for the drivers who are delivering that service, and that is something which TfL is failing to deliver."

Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Underground, said:  "The planned strike on London Underground from late afternoon on Wednesday 8 July will cause big disruption to the people and economy of London. It is also totally unnecessary.

"If the leaderships of the unions are serious about reaching agreement, then the only reasonable course is for them to suspend the strike, put our pay offer to their members and work with us to respond to the changing needs of London and our customers."

How many workers are striking?

Almost 20,000.

What have the drivers been offered?

According to TfL:

"An average increase on basic salary of 2 per cent made up of a 1 per cent pay rise and a flat £500 increase consolidated into base pay; an increase of RPI or 1% (whichever is greater) in pay for 2016 and 2017; a £500 launch bonus to all staff on the Night Tube lines and stations; and, in addition, a £2,000 transition bonus for train operators where transitional arrangements apply."

According to ASLEF:

"This dispute is entirely the fault of TfL; they have prevaricated for months, after announcing the Night Tube, without proper negotiation, on the same day as nearly 1,000 redundancies on the London Underground.

"The suspicion is that TfL don’t really want to run the Night Tube which is why, after months of not talking to us, they only improved their offer yesterday."

What have people said about the strikes?

Boris Johnson has called them "politically motivated" and voiced disdain for the strikes, whereas some Labour MPs have supported the strikes on Twitter.

And of course, disgruntled commuters will be making their voices heard on social media very soon.