Londoners were hit with fresh travel disruption on Thursday as the first strike on the Elizabeth line paralysed services.
No trains are running throughout the day in the central section of the line between Abbey Wood and Paddington a result of Thursday’s walkout by members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Prospect.
The Elizabeth line is operating as separate railways on the east and west of the line, but passengers were warned there may be short-notice alterations or cancellations.
Tube passengers reported busier-than-usual trains as hundreds of thousands of people sought other mean of getting around.
Transport for London (TfL) warned customers to expect travel disruption, saying it was doing everything it could to reduce the impact of the strike and was working with operator MTR-Elizabeth line to run as many services as possible.
The disruption will extend to Friday morning with no trains running on the central section before 7.30am and a normal service not expected until 9am.
The strike over pay is the first industrial action on the line since it opened last May.
Live coverage ends
18:01 , Josh Salisbury
Thank you joining our live coverage of the Elizabeth line strike.
Our live coverage is now ending.
‘We’re working to resolve rail disputes’ - union
17:05 , Josh Salisbury
Luke Chester, organising director, at the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said they are working towards “something that will resolve the dispute”.
Union representatives met with the Rail Delivery Group and train operators at the officers of FirstGroup, in Paddington, central London on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Chester said they had “interesting and detailed discussions today”. “We’re working towards hopefully something which will resolve the dispute,” he said. “We’re not there yet but we’ll be having more discussions over the next few days and see where we get to.”
Asked about what they made of proposals on the table, he said: “I’m not going to talk about the details of what was discussed but there were some changes to the proposals that had been made recently and we’re working through that detail.”
RMT announces steps towards ‘revised offer’ after talks
16:33 , Josh Salisbury
The RMT union, which is not leading today’s Elizabeth line walkout, has announced steps towards a deal with rail bosses over industrial action.
In a joint statement with industry body the Rail Delivery Group, it said: “We have had detailed discussions and we are working jointly towards a revised offer.
“Both parties have agreed to continue discussions over the next few days.”
Southeastern warns of busier services due to Elizabeth line strike
16:04 , Josh Salisbury
Train company Southeastern has warned passengers to expect busier services on its routes around Woolwich as a result of the Elizabeth line strike.
The central section of the Elizabeth line serves Woolwich, but is currently is not running amid the walkout.
In a message to customers, Southeastern said: “There are no Elizabeth Line services to or from Abbey Wood today because of strike action, so services on the Woolwich Line may be busier as a result.
“Elizabeth Line services resume from 07:30 tomorrow.”
A recap: What parts of the Elizabeth Line are affected?
14:53 , Miriam Burrell
There is no service on the central section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
There will be a reduced service on the east section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and west sections between Paddington and Reading/Heathrow.
East and west services will run to and from National Rail platforms at Liverpool Street and Paddington.
Services may be changed or cancelled at short notice
On Friday January 13
There will be no service between Abbey Wood and Paddington until around 7.30am.
Services will run to and from Paddington and Liverpool Street National Rail stations before 7.30am. A good service is expected from 9am.
Pictured: TSSA picket line outside Paddington station
14:23 , Miriam Burrell
Pictured: Picket line in Plumstead
14:12 , Miriam Burrell
RMT union expecting new proposal from RDG
12:39 , Miriam Burrell
RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch said they are expecting to be presented with a new proposal from the Rail Delivery Group on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Lynch told media: “We will be having further talks today with the Rail Delivery Group and the suggestion and the idea is that they’re going to make a revised proposal.
“But we’ll have to see. You know I don’t know what they’re going to tell me when I get in the room and at some stage a new written proposal will be put to us.
“I don’t know whether that will take a long time or whether it will be very quick. But the idea of this meeting is that will be revised proposals.
“We’ve had a discussion with Network Rail, which is the other half of this dispute, and that will continue.”
Heathrow Airport advises of alternative routes
11:54 , Miriam Burrell
Heathrow Airport has warned travellers to take the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express during strikes affecting the Elizabeth Line.
TSSA and Prospect are taking strike action from 6.30am on Thursday to 6.30am on Friday, with services not expected to return to normal until 9am on January 13.
The west London airport warned passengers using Terminal 5 to change at Terminals 2&3 for Heathrow Express or Piccadilly line services.
Elizabeth Line disruption continues into Friday
11:48 , Miriam Burrell
Services on the Elizabeth Line will not return to normal until after 9am on Friday.
24-hour strike action by TSSA and Prospect union members is set to end at 6.30am on January 12.
There will be no service between Abbey Wood and Paddington until around 7:30am, TfL said.
Services will run to and from Paddington and Liverpool Street National Rail stations before 7.30am.
A good service is expected from 9am.
Tube status update
11:21 , Miriam Burrell
As well as disruption on the Elizabeth Line, there are minor delays on the Piccadilly and Jubilee lines.
There are minor delays on the Piccadilly Line between Acton Town and Cockfosters eastbound only while we fix a faulty train at Finsbury Park. There is a good service on the rest of the line.
Elizabeth Line staff paid ‘up to £30,000 less’ than TfL workers, union says
10:56 , Miriam Burrell
Unions say Elizabeth line staff employed by RfLi are paid up to £30,000 less than colleagues with equivalent roles elsewhere on the Transport for London network.
In a letter to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Frank Ward, TSSA interim general secretary, said: “Despite months of trying to get negotiations with the company over pay there has been no movement.
“This strike action is the only thing so far which has led to anything close to negotiations.”
TSSA calls for support from Mayor
10:19 , Miriam Burrell
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to use his “considerable influence to intervene” on behalf of Elizabeth Line workers taking strike action, in a letter written by TSSA’s interim general secretary.
In a letter to the Mayor on Thursday, Frank Ward wrote: “Please use your considerable influence to intervene on behalf of these transport workers so that we can find a resolution to this dispute.
“Unless the position on pay improves, we will see more strike action and ongoing action short of strike on the Elizabeth Line.”
The letter said staff recruitment and retention has become “a great problem” and existing staff are under “constant pressure”.
Pictured: Elizabeth Line disruption
09:58 , Miriam Burrell
Jubilee delays have ‘big knock on effect'
09:45 , Miriam Burrell
A Jubilee Line user said Thursday’s delays meant she had to work from home.
Isha Chantaya Walker wrote on Twitter that her station does not have another Line nearby, so “it gets very packed when there’s not a regular routine”.
The Jubilee Line is experiencing minor delays due to train cancellations, TfL said.
Commuters respond to Elizabeth Line strikes
09:20 , Miriam Burrell
Elizabeth Line commuters reported having to battle rush-hour crowds on the DLR as strike action takes place.
One user said the difficult commute is “the point of strikes” as they showed solidarity with striking workers.
Govt doesn’t take strikes ‘seriously’, says Labour
08:48 , Miriam Burrell
Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said the Government is not taking the wave of public sector strikes seriously.
She told Sky News that the Government thinks they can “wait it out” and somehow “the workers will just go back to work”.
She said: “I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why they don’t sit down, have some serious talks [about] why they haven’t been doing it for a long time and why we’ve ended up with these strikes in the first place.
“I think it’s irresponsible. I sometimes think they don’t want the strikes to end and I don’t know why. Why are they doing this?”
Ms Thornberry claimed the Government is hiding behind the independent pay review process and expects people to have a pay cut.
Elizabeth Line workers form picket lines
08:34 , Miriam Burrell
TSSA union members who work on the Elizabeth Line have formed picket lines early on Thursday, braving the dark and wet weather.
Elizabeth Line workers striking over ‘pay parity’
08:31 , Miriam Burrell
Prospect Union says its members on the Elizabeth Line are taking industrial action because they have been offered a 4 per cent rise while their “colleagues on London Underground and Overground have had pay increases in excess of 8 and 6 per cent respectively in 2022”.
The Union calls on TfL to meet with them and “complete negotiations”.
Delays on Jubilee Line
08:27 , Miriam Burrell
Minor delays on the Jubilee Line are causing headaches for Thursday morning commuters.
Some had to wait up to 15 minutes to get on a Tube. TfL said the delays are due to train cancellations.
TfL is reporting a good service on all other lines, aside from the Elizabeth Line.
‘Lot of anger’ among train drivers, Aslef boss says
08:13 , Miriam Burrell
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said commuters can expect more strikes from train drivers.
When asked if there will be more industrial action on Sky News, he said: “I believe so.”
But Mr Whelan couldn’t confirm when. He said union members will meet next week to discuss the “non offer”.
“There’s a lot of anger out there,” he said.
Where are TSSA members picketing?
07:46 , Miriam Burrell
TSSA union members will be picketing at Romford ROC, adjacent to Romford Railway Station, from 06:30 to 07:30am and between 2:30 to 3:30pm on Thursday.
Members will also be striking at Paddington Station from 11:30 to 12:30pm.
Safety and maintenance workers striking
07:34 , Miriam Burrell
Prospect union members who work in safety and maintenance on the Elizabeth Line are also taking strike action over pay.
Members are striking from 6.30am on Thursday until 6.30am on Friday.
They will also be taking action short of a strike when strike action ends on January 13. This will include an overtime ban, work to rule, and withdrawal of good will.
Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said: “Our members have worked incredibly hard to get the Elizabeth Line ready to go safely into operation yet are being treated significantly worse than equivalent workers on the rest of London’s network.
“We remain open to negotiation and it is our hope that RfLI will come back to the table with an offer sufficient to avert industrial action. The Elizabeth Line is bringing in substantial revenue so there is no reason why there can’t be some movement on pay.”
Signalling problem at Clapham Junction
07:24 , Miriam Burrell
An earlier signalling problem between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction stations is affecting services on Thursday morning, with disruption expected until 9am.
While all lines have now reopened, some services may still be cancelled, delayed by up to 15 minutes or revised, South Western Railways said.
Tickets will be accepted at no extra cost on TfL buses between London Waterloo and Wimbledon.
Why are Elizabeth Line workers striking?
07:20 , Miriam Burrell
TSSA union members are walking out amid a dispute over pay and proposed changes to pensions.
Members working for Rail for London (Infrastructure) Limited (RfLI) voted by nine to one in favour of strike action in a ballot held late last year after talks failed at the arbitration service, ACAS.
Organiser Mel Taylor said: “Our members are determined to get the fair deal they deserve having not seen an annual pay increase for almost three years.”
TSSA members have already rejected a 4 per cent for this year and 4.4 per cent for next year.
Bus strikes affecting routes in south-west London
07:05 , Miriam Burrell
Bus drivers working for Abellio are also taking industrial action on Thursday, amid a dispute over pay.
The walkout will mainly affect services in south-west London. The bus drivers are based at garages in Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth.
Routes affected included the 3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490 and 969.
Unite union said Abellio has imposed an unacceptable pay offer.
“The deal does not meet the drivers’ demands and leaves full time drivers with under two years’ of service on £3.29 less per hour than their colleagues with more than two years,” Unite said in a statement.
First time Elizabeth Line directly hit by strikes
06:54 , Miriam Burrell
Thursday’s strike will be the first time that the £20bn Elizabeth line, which has proved hugely popular since opening last May, will have been directly hit by strike action.
It has suffered knock-on impacts from separate strikes by the RMT at Network Rail.
Line managers belonging to TSSA are walking out in a battle to win better rates of pay. Members of the RMT and Prospect unions who also work for the TfL subsidiary that runs the line will also take action.
TSSA Organiser, Mel Taylor said: “Our members are rightly taking this action because they are not prepared to be pushed around on pay and pensions.
“We know workers at Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) are being paid significantly less than equivalent colleagues across the TfL network and that is simply not acceptable.”
What parts of the Elizabeth Line are affected?
06:51 , Miriam Burrell
There will be no service on the central section of the Elizabeth line, between Paddington and Abbey Wood.
There will be a reduced service on the east section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and west section, between Paddington and Reading/Heathrow.
East and west services will run from and to National Rail platforms at Liverpool Street and Paddington.
Services may be changed or cancelled at short notice, Transport for London said.