Tube strikes to cause ‘severe disruption’ across network next week, TfL warns

Tube passengers have been warned to expect “severe disruption” across the London Underground when thousands of station staff go on strike next week.

Transport for London said most lines would be “severely affected” by the RMT walkouts next Wednesday and Friday, and some may not be able to open.

It said the disruption would continue into each morning following a strike day – which is likely to discourage many commuters from travelling in the latter half of next week.

Trains are expected to run – but will not be able to stop at many stations due to the absence of station staff.

The Elizabeth line, London Overground and DLR will be open but some trains may not stop at stations that are shared with London Underground.

Read it and weep: passengers have been warned of Tube chaos due to RMT strike action (Ross Lydall)
Read it and weep: passengers have been warned of Tube chaos due to RMT strike action (Ross Lydall)

TfL is prioritising staff cover at key stations such as Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street to enable the Elizabeth line to maintain connections to and from the West End.

There may be “last-minute changes” to services depending on the number of staff on duty. Buses are expected to be even busier than normal.

There will be no Night Tube next Friday. The Night Overground will run but will not stop at Whitechapel and Canada Water stations.

RMT members are taking action in the long-running dispute over the axing of between 500 and 600 station jobs as TfL bids to save money.

Staff who have left the Tube have not been replaced, increasing demands on those who remain. A number of stations have suffered repeated closures as a result, especially on the Central line at Lancaster Gate and Holland Park.

The RMT says it has “safety concerns” about the impact of the job losses, which it says have meant staff facing “higher workloads, more lone working and increased fatigue”.

Next Wednesday’s strike will coincide with action on the national rail network by drivers belonging to the Aslef union. They are also striking this Saturday.

The train drivers’ walkout – which is linked to a separate battle over pay and modernisation – will bring most services to a standstill. Fifteen train companies are affected, including Southeastern, Thameslink and Avanti West Coast.

The RMT has accused Mayor Sadiq Khan of presiding over a policy of “managed decline” of the Tube as he follows Government orders for TfL to break even by the end of the current financial year.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “These job cuts and attacks on conditions are going to lead to more unstaffed stations, temporary closures and rising passenger anger.

“This strike action will lead to the Tube being shut down and we call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet us urgently to discuss this matter.”

The RMT first called members out on strike in March last year over concerns about the loss of up to 600 station posts.

It held six Tube strikes last year and another strike on Budget Day this March, when Aslef drivers also went on strike.

But a week of Tube strikes that were planned for July were averted at the last minute after TfL promised to safeguard staff pensions until 2026.