Friday bus strike in London could force Tube closures

Friday’s bus strikes might lead to Tube closures across the capital, the London Evening Standard has reported.

Trade union Unite called for the strike and has warned of more to follow in the run up to the Olympics after drivers were refused a bonus for working during the Games. Unite has demanded a £500 Olympic bonus for the bus workers and an extra £100 each time there is a strike.

Union bosses have warned the strikes could affect the 6.5 million bus journeys made in London every day and would thus make London Underground’s (LU) trains overcrowded as passengers look for alternative travel methods.

Bob Crow, RMT leader, said the union “has deep concerns about the safety implications of trying to cram hundreds of thousands of extra journeys into a system creaking at the seams and our safety reps will be monitoring the situation closely on Friday.”

Crow said staff should cite health and safety regulations if too many people board the trains and that drivers should refuse to drive.

Nigel Holness, LU operations director, said: “London Underground has an excellent safety record and is one of the safest metros in the world, and has well-practised congestion management procedures to deal with large numbers of customers.

“Should this strike go ahead, we will have additional staff in place at key locations on Friday to provide help and information to enable customers to complete their journeys.

“All of our staff are well trained and fully understand our congestion management plans, and we will be ready to use those procedures if necessary to ensure that we can continue to keep London moving.”

If the strike goes ahead it will start at 3am on Friday, 22 June and will last 24 hours.

Will this be the acid test for the Olympics? Read Jubilee travel chaos adds to fears over Olympic transport problems.

 

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