Tube strikes hinder London commuters

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The Independent Online

Commuters in London faced difficult journeys to and from work today as the first in a series of Tube strikes got under way. Maintenance staff on the Jubilee and Northern lines began a 24-hour walkout at 7pm last night in protest at a below-inflation pay offer.

A separate 24-hour stoppage across the network by members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) begins at 5pm today over London Underground's plan to cut 800 station staff. Drivers, signallers and station staff will walk out at 9pm and managers and clerical workers will refuse to work overtime.

Transport for London (TfL) said it would put an extra 100 buses into service and responded to strikers' concerns by insisting there would be no compulsory redundancies. But the RMT leader Bob Crow accused TfL of "playing fast and loose with safety" and also blamed the Mayor, Boris Johnson, for the cutbacks.