Tube strike 2014: Travel chaos as industrial action over ticket office closures hits underground services in London

Staff walked out at 9pm and disruption is expected until Friday morning

Millions of commuters in London faced long delays and disruption today as a 48-hour strike over Tube ticket office closures hit services.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) walked out at 9pm last night in protest at the closure of all ticket offices, with the loss of 950 jobs.

There was an immediate impact on services but disruption is expected to be widespread during the rush hour later today and tomorrow as millions of commuters attempt to journey around London.

Around three and a half million trips are made each day on the London Underground's eleven lines.

London Underground said it was operating train services on eight of their lines despite what they described as the "completely unnecessary" strike.

However, services were crippled by the strike straight away this morning with Oxford Circus tube station opening at 7am and closing just eleven minutes later due to a lack of staff. It later reopened.

 

Elsewhere, Victoria Station remained closed earlier despite a notice saying that a limited service would begin at 7am - it also later reopened.

Images emerged on social media of large queues building outside some stations.

The strike has also had a knock-on impact on services elsewhere with reports of London Overground trains being so crowded that passengers were unable to board them at stations in north-west London.

Read more:
Tube strike: Which lines will be open to keep London moving?
How the strikes will affect your journey (and stress levels)

As expected queues formed at bus stations across the capital.

RMT leader Bob Crow said: "As we expected the action is rock solid this morning and has reduced the network to a skeleton service with only a few ghost trains running through closed stations.

"That is simply a reflection of the staff anger at attempts to bulldoze through cuts to jobs, services and safety which would reduce the Tube to a dangerous, hollowed-out shell", Mr Crow told BBC London 94.9.

"We're available today and later tomorrow for talks and we want to resolve this. The mayor should do the honourable thing and meet with us."

"We respect the mayor. We may disagree with him," he continued. "But all we want to do is to listen to our point of view."

Commuters wait for gates to open to the District Line at Liverpool Street station at 7am this morning Commuters wait for gates to open to the District Line at Liverpool Street station at 7am this morning TSSA leaders claimed the service had been reduced by 70% and called on Boris Johnson to "end government by gimmick" and "enter serious talks".

Train passengers were also having problems because of a return to the wet and windy weather which has devastated travel across the UK.

Southeastern trains said the forecast weather, after the wettest January for a century, presented a risk of further flooding, landslips and falling trees.

Network Rail has put in place a 40mph speed restriction across parts of the Southeastern network.

Meanwhile, politicians have condemned the industrial action, with Conservatives again calling for changes to employment laws covering the numbers voting for strikes in a ballot.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Cameron "thinks that Bob Crow's strike is plain wrong and he should call it off rather than inflict misery on hard-working families in London".

RMT leader Bob Crow on the phone to Boris Johnson outside City Hall RMT leader Bob Crow on the phone to Boris Johnson outside City Hall

Boris Johnson responded to the disruption caused by the strikes saying: "We are doing all we can to try and get people to work."

"I recognise in some cases it is difficult, and I feel enormous sympathy for Londoners this morning, but the blame for this strike lies squarely with union leaders who have resorted to myths and stunts in a pathetic attempt to justify a strike that is utterly pointless."

"It's appalling that a tiny minority of union members have sought to disrupt the working lives of millions of Londoners today. It's clear that at a minimum we need a 50% strike threshold for a key public service like the mass transit system of our capital city."

Finsbury Park chaos Earlier this week, Mr Johnson accused rail union boss Bob Crow of holding London to ransom ahead of the two strikes.

His comments came after photographs appeared in the press showing Mr Crow sunbathing on a beach in South America.

In his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph, the mayor said that while he did not begrudge Mr Crow his holiday, he was not entitled to "disrupt the lives of millions of people who are not on holiday but who want to work".

Mr Crow hit back, however, and stressed that his holiday was "booked up well before" the strike action. Mr Crow was also questioned about whether his high-profile was a distraction and how much the holiday cost, with some claiming it was £10,000.

"If I'm going to spend £10,000 on a car, or if I'm going to spend £10,000 on a holiday, or £10,000 on cigarettes, that's up to me," said Crow.

"I'm not being a distraction at all. What do you want me to do? Sit under a tree and read books of Karl Marx every day?" he added.


Watch a video from the picket line last night

 

 

News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
newsTV star had been reported missing
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 5 Primary Teaching positionRands...

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone