Tube and rail strike latest LIVE: Londoners facing more cancelled trains on Wednesday as strike chaos continues

·44-min read
Tube and rail strike latest LIVE: Londoners facing more cancelled trains on Wednesday as strike chaos continues

Millions of people have had their travel disrupted on Tuesday as the biggest Tube and rail strike in 30 years went ahead.

Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Network Rail and 13 train operators have walked out in the biggest outbreak of industrial action on the railways for a generation. Just one in five trains were expected to be running, primarily on main lines and only for around 11 hours. It coincides with the fourth network-wide strike this year on the London Underground.

Just after 11.30am, the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines were suspended. The Central, District, London Overground and Northern lines were part suspended, while the Elizabeth line was experiencing severe delays, according to the TfL website.

Boris Johnson slammed the “unnecessary aggravation” caused by walk-outs on the Tube and rail network, saying it was making it “more difficult for people to get to work, risking people’s appointments, making it more difficult for kids to sit exams”.

Travel chaos is set to continue on Wednesday, with just 60 per cent of trains running.

This is due to a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff are not doing overnight shifts.

Thanks for following

22:32 , Daniel Keane

That’s all from us this evening but we will be back with all the latest travel news tomorrow morning.

Tory Govt ‘doesn’t care about TfL’, says Khan

21:47 , Daniel Keane

Mr Khan went on: “Make no mistake - this Tory Govt’s actions are central to the disruption we’ve endured today.

“They don’t care about workers, don’t care about TfL & don’t care about Londoners.

“They need to get their act together & agree a long-term funding deal for TfL.”

Strikes ‘frustrating’ for Londoners, says Sadiq Khan

21:11 , Daniel Keane

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted a clip of his interview with BBC News discussing Tuesday's rail strikes.

Alongside the video he wrote: "Today's strikes will have been extremely frustrating for Londoners & have hit TfL's finances at the worst possible time.

"That's why I'm asking the Govt to urgently meet with me so we can agree a long-term funding deal for TfL and avoid a managed decline of the network's services."

‘Explosion’ warning if Labour sacks frontbenchers joining picket lines

20:48 , Michael Howie

A former adviser to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has warned there will be an "explosion" if the party disciplines any frontbenchers joining picket lines in support of striking rail workers.

Simon Fletcher, who also advised former leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband, said there has been "a lot of simmering resentment and irritation" over the party's current position.

Sir Keir is considering possible disciplinary action after he reportedly ordered frontbenchers not to join picket lines outside stations, as the country faces the biggest rail strike in a generation.

No rush to roads, says DfT

19:37 , Daniel Keane

A Department for Transport spokesman has said there hasn’t been the “rush to the roads” as had been predicted as people are able to work from home.

He said: “These are desperately needed reforms that modernise the railway and put it on a sustainable footing for passengers and taxpayers.

“Unions have shut down big parts of the rail network, hitting local businesses and unfairly cutting people off from hospitals, schools and work.

“However, early data shows that unlike in the past many people now have the opportunity to work from home, so we haven't even a rush to the roads, as traffic has instead gone online, which means the unions aren't having the overall impact they might have hoped.”

Pensioners ‘more vulnerable to cost of living pressures’, says No10

19:12 , Daniel Keane

Downing Street said the state pension will rise with inflation and not public sector pay partly because pensioners are "more vulnerable to cost-of-living pressures".

Asked for the reasoning behind the decision, the PM's official spokesman said: "Pensioners, particularly those who receive state pensions, are disproportionately impacted by high energy costs. They can't always increase their incomes through work and they are more vulnerable to cost-of-living pressures.

"And that's, for example, why we introduced additional support for pensioners as part of our cost-of-living package, the pension and cost-of-living payment of £300. We've said the triple-lock freeze was temporary.

"The point I was making about... most commentators believe... is public sector pay... is the biggest driver of these sorts of inflationary pressures, and it becomes embedded into the labour market and wages.

"There's not (the) same risk of a spillover effect into private sector wages from any increases in the state pension age."

Pictured: A lone commuter at Euston Station during rush hour

18:53 , Daniel Keane


Striking workers ‘holding public to ransom’, says commuter

18:29 , Daniel Keane

Striking rail workers are holding the public to ransom, a commuter at Vauxhall station has said.

Jonty, 24, from Oval, told the PA news agency that he was going to have to walk for 90 minutes to get to work on Thursday.

"It feels like we're being held to ransom", he said.

"Looking at the pay and everything (of some rail workers) I don't really know what they're striking about, to be honest.

"I just feel like they're doing all they can to hold us all to ransom just to get more money out of it."

Travel chaos to continue tomorrow

18:11 , Daniel Keane

Travel chaos is set to continue on Wednesday, with just 60 per cent of trains running.

This is due to a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff are not doing overnight shifts.

Only way dispute can be resolved is through talks, says shadow minister

18:05 , Daniel Keane

Shadow minister Baroness Chapman said Labour is clear the only way to resolve the rail dispute is through negotiation.

She told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "We're very clear on this. The only way this gets resolved is through negotiation, and for that to happen you've got to be around the table.

"The Government could use its convening power to make that happen. It's choosing not to. We think that's irresponsible. And in the end, you know, the public will make their own mind up about the Government's motivations in all of this."

Baroness Chapman added that any suggestion there may be further strikes down the line just makes the need to negotiate "more urgent".

"We don't want to see what we've seen today repeated across the summer. Nobody does," she said.

"The idea that we are going to see more of this, I think, should just make people resolve more strongly, actually, to get this resolved quickly."

Over 40% of Britons support strikes

17:46 , Daniel Keane

Fewer than four in 10 adults are supportive of the rail workers' strike, while more than four in 10 said they opposed the action, according to polling firm YouGov.

The poll of 2,516 adults published on Tuesday afternoon suggested two-thirds (66 per cent) of those aged 65 and above were opposed to the action, compared to almost half (48 per cent) of those aged 18 to 24 supporting the strikes.

And three in five (60 per cent) also said they were opposed to suggestions of closing manned ticket offices at most railway stations.

Clapham Junction quiet at rush hour

17:29 , Daniel Keane

Clapham Junction station in south-west London - usually one of the busiest train hubs in the country - remained quiet ahead of the evening rush hour.

Dozens of people were waiting on chairs on platforms and walkways for trains, which are running at a reduced service to a limited number of destinations.

A Tannoy every few minutes reminded passengers to travel only if "absolutely necessary".

Outside the station, traffic was flowing normally and bus stations were relatively empty.

We aren’t able to strike, says NHS worker on commute

17:11 , Daniel Keane

David Raposo Buzon, a healthcare support worker in north London, who was an hour and a half late for work, pointed out that NHS staff like him "aren't able to strike" like those from rail companies.

He waited at a bus stop from 6.30am to make it in for his 7.30am scheduled start, but long queues and packed services meant he did not make it to his workplace until 9am.

The 34-year-old, originally from Spain, told the PA news agency: "I feel OK with people doing strikes, but at the same time I feel angry when I think that NHS workers are not able to strike even if our conditions at work are really bad.

"We aren't able to strike because we need to provide a minimum service but the service is already under minimum right now and, on the top of that, if you strike, people literally die, so you feel guilty and, at the end, don't do it."

He added that "my salary is totally worse than the ones that are striking, the country needs a change".

Downing St warns against ‘chasing inflation'

16:48 , Daniel Keane

Downing Street insisted it would not be in public sector workers' interests to "chase inflation" with pay rises, but said it does want to see wages go up.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman was asked if Boris Johnson is concerned there is an issue of intergenerational fairness if working age people are not going to get the same increase in their income as those who are retired.

It comes after No 10 defended maintaining the triple lock on pensions while insisting public sector workers receiving pay rises in line with inflation would further stoke rising costs.

The spokesman responded: "We do recognise the public, particularly those that are working, will feel hard hit by these global inflationary pressures.

"What we need to do as a responsible Government is explain the rationale as to why we are taking these steps. We do want to see public sector workers get a pay rise.

"We think it would not be sensible and not be in these public sector workers' best interests to chase inflation, cause inflation to spike further and in effect mean the money they take home is worth less. That's the cycle we want to avoid. And we think the public will understand that is our aim."

Watch: RMT Boss and Kay Burley clash on Sky News

16:24 , Daniel Keane

Royal Mail workers could strike

16:13 , Daniel Keane

More than 115,000 Royal Mail workers are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will vote in the coming weeks on whether to mount a campaign of industrial action.

Ballot papers will go out on June 28 and the result will be known next month.

CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said in a video posted on Twitter: “Today we will be serving a notice on Royal Mail Group over a pay claim - our claim for an inflation-based, no-strings pay award.

“The company has imposed a 2 per cent pay award, miles away from where inflation is, totally inadequate.”

Liverpool couple could miss out on London theatre trip

15:56 , Daniel Keane

At Liverpool Lime Street station, couple Sheila and Steve, who did not want to give their last name, were due to travel to London for a theatre trip costing £500.

Steve said: “The 8.47am train has been cancelled and we’re just keeping our fingers crossed for the next one at 9.47am.

“I think they have got the right to strike but this seems a bit unfair on other people.”

‘My 10-minute journey took 90 minutes'

15:39 , Daniel Keane

Electrical engineer Harry Charles said his normal 10-minute journey to work by train to London Bridge took him 90 minutes.

The 30-year-old, from Lewisham, south-east London, said: “Obviously I had to wake up early and left my house at 6am.

“I am with the employees who are striking because their money is not going up and the cost of everything is rising.

“The strike has caused a lot of hassle for people but everyone wants be able to eat.”

Looking ahead... what will be disrupted on Wednesday and Thursday?

15:18 , Elly Blake

Britain’s train services will continue to be disrupted on Wednesday due to the knock-on effects of Tuesday’s strike.

Here we answer 10 key questions about what passengers should expect.

– How many trains will run on Wednesday?

Only around 60 per cent of the 20,000 normal weekday services will be able to operate.

– Why are timetables not returning to normal if there is no strike on Wednesday?

Walkouts by signallers and control room staff who would usually work overnight from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning means trains will leave depots later than normal, delaying the start of services.

– What time do trains normally leave depots?

Between around 3am and 4am.

– What time do passengers services usually begin?

Between around 5am and 6am.

– How will that change on Wednesday?

The process of taking trains out of depots will only begin when signallers on daytime shifts start work at 6-6.30am. No passenger services will run before 6.30am.

– How long will the start of services be delayed?

It is expected to take up to four hours in some locations.

– How quickly will services ramp up?

In London, services will increase quickly as trains do not have to travel long distances from depots to stations.

It will take several hours in remote locations.

– Will services eventually return to normal on Wednesday?

Network Rail said that “even during the day the service will stay thinner” than usual.

– What about Thursday?

It will be a similar picture to Tuesday.

Around 20 per cent of services will run and just half of lines will be open, only between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

– Is there any chance strikes planned for Thursday and Saturday will be called off?

No negotiations are taking place so passengers are being urged to check with train operators for updates to services.

More strikes could take place... but this time in the postal industry

14:56 , Elly Blake

More than 115,000 Royal Mail workers are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will vote in the coming weeks on whether to mount a campaign of industrial action.

Ballot papers will go out on June 28 and the result will be known next month.

Footfall in central London drops compared with previous week

14:51 , Elly Blake

Footfall in central London on the first day of the rail strikes is 27 per cent down on last Tuesday as retailers say the industrial action is a “blow” on top of rising costs and staff shortages.

Retail analysts Springboard said the figures to 1pm showed that footfall in city centres outside of the capital was also down, by 11.2 per cent.

In contrast, footfall in outer London and market towns was less affected, down 6.2% and 2% respectively, reflecting increasing numbers of people working from home, it said.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The impact of train and tube strikes today on footfall is very clear to see, with a large proportion of people clearly working from home.

“The drop in footfall in central London and regional cities means that the gap from the 2019 footfall level has widened considerably – to -49.2 per cent and -29.8 per cent, which are levels that are equivalent to those recorded during lockdown.

“In contrast in market towns the gap from the 2019 footfall level has narrowed to just -2.5 per cent below 2019 and -13.4 per cent in Outer London.”

‘It’s taken me the best part of three hours’: One woman’s journey from Fulham to King’s Cross

14:03 , Elly Blake

A woman said it had taken her hours to travel to Fulham to King’s Cross due to rail strike disruption.

Jane Abbie, 56, said: “I’m on my way to family relatives in Scotland and it’s taken me the best part of three hours using four buses and a little bit of walking and I made it.”

She added she was “a bit thrown by the whole thing”.

‘Quite stressful’: Traveller describes dash to catch final train from London to Scotland

13:54 , Elly Blake

A traveller has described the “stressful” last-minute “rush” to catch the final train from London to Scotland amid rail strikes.

Nicole Perl, 33 was forced to spend £50 on a taxi to make it to London Euston Station on time to make the last Scotland-bound train which would take her to her home in Carlisle.

She said: “I checked the trains yesterday when I arrived back from Stansted Airport and they seemed to be running fairly regularly, every two hours or so up until 6pm and it seemed to be the case this morning as well.

“But when I checked again at noon it said the last train was at 1:30pm so it was a bit of a rush to get here. It was quite stressful and sweaty.”

Another passenger, who did not want to be identified, said they had spent £100 on a taxi as their planned public transport route would not get them to the station in time.

Pictured: Rail strikes across the UK

13:46 , Elly Blake


Microsoft’s Outlook email service hit by outage as thousands work from home due to rail strikes

13:34 , Elly Blake

Microsoft’s Outlook email platform has been hit by service issues, making it inaccessible to some users.

The company has confirmed the problem and said it is working to fix it, with no other services currently appearing to be affected.

It comes as thousands of people have been forced to work from home due to rail and Tube strikes.

According to Microsoft’s own service status website, some Outlook users “may be unable to access their mailboxes via any connection method” and may encounter “delays sending, receiving or accessing email messages”.

In a statement on the site, Microsoft said: “We’re continuing to analyse service monitoring telemetry to identify the next troubleshooting steps to mitigate the impact.”

The company added that the issue is specific to some users in Europe.

In an update, Microsoft said: “We’ve identified that our traffic management infrastructure is not working as expected.

“We’ve successfully routed traffic to an alternate traffic management method, and we’re seeing an improvement in service availability since this process completed.

“We’re continuing to monitor the service availability as it improves, while we determine the root cause.”

Elizabeth line rescues thousands of London commuters amid Tube strike

13:26 , Elly Blake

The Elizabeth line came to the rescue of thousands of commuters determined to get in and out of central London despite the Tube strike.

Regular services have been running on the line, which opened less han a month ago, between Abbey Wood and Paddington, from 7am.

Transport for London used managers and volunteers to open the four London Underground-run stations on the central section of the Elizabeth line - Tottenham Court Road, Whitechapel, Farringdon and Liverpool Street.

The Elizabeth line train drivers are employed by a contractor, MTR, rather than London Underground - meaning they were not drawn into the strike, which involved the RMT and Unite unions.

Read the full article by City Hall editor Ross Lydall here.

AA president: Traffic hotspots on the M25

13:21 , Elly Blake

AA president Edmund King told the PA news agency there were “traffic hotspots” on the M25 in the South East, and on roads near Manchester, Leeds and west of Glasgow.

The firm’s breakdown recovery workers have been “busier than normal but not dramatically”, he told the PA news agency.

“Given good notice of the strike, many people have planned ahead and either changed their plans or are working from home.”

Arthur Scargill joins picket line in Wakefield

13:13 , Elly Blake

Miners’ unionist Arthur Scargill joined the picket line in West Yorkshire on Tuesday.

Mr Scargill, who is famous for taking on Margaret Thatcher in the miners’ strikes of the 1980s, showed up in support of the strike action sweeping across the rail industry.

Sarah Woolley, general secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), tweeted a photo of the pair together with the caption: “Arthur has turned up to support @RMTunion his cap is from 1984”

Travellers criticise ‘disgraceful’ taxi fares as demand surges amid rail strikes

12:55 , Sami Quadri

Travellers have criticised the “disgraceful” increase in taxi fares as demand surges during the nationwide rail strikes.

Uber users in London are being hit with a surge in prices with a three-mile journey from Paddington to King’s Cross estimated to cost £19 just after midday – down from £27 at 8.45am.

Elsewhere in London, Addison Lee taxis has had limited availability on Tuesday morning and travellers are having to pay a £5 surcharge for all journeys.

Zipcar and black cabs are also experiencing higher demands but people will only have to pay the usual price for these services.

MJ Shannon, a bar manager, said she had to take a £30 Uber taxi, instead of a local train service, from Hale, Cheshire, where she was at a training event, to get to Manchester Piccadilly before a train home to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Ms Shannon said: “I’m trying to get back to Newcastle. It’s not the worst inconvenience in the world, all the major lines are still running.”

Commuter demands bus driver opens doors during tense confrontation

12:53 , Sami Quadri

Pictured: Empty platform at Paddington Station

12:45 , Sami Quadri


Londoner complains it took her three and half hours to travel home from work

12:35 , Sami Quadri

Commuter frustrated after travel plans hampered

12:30 , Sami Quadri

Gav Nsay, 28, from Glasgow, said the strike has disrupted his plans to go by train to Edinburgh with his friend who has not been able to travel in to meet him to make the journey together from Glasgow Queen Street station.

He said: “I was meant to go to Edinburgh with my friend, unfortunately we’ve not been able to go to Edinburgh because he can’t get the train where he is coming from to Glasgow. That’s going to have a huge effect on us going to Edinburgh.”

Mr Nsay said that if his friend does manage to get into Glasgow they may end up travelling to Edinburgh by bus or taxi.

He said: “I think the strike could’ve been avoided if they’d sorted it out. It’s not just myself affected, it’s a lot of people around the nation and it’s obviously the result of Brexit, that’s what I think.

“It can be done better and it’s not the right time to go on strike right now, but obviously I can understand from their point of view.

“I was down at Glasgow Central station and I got a leaflet from one of the strike workers and I read that and I thought to myself that’s absolutely disgraceful, the Government has got to sort out the strike with the union otherwise it’s going to get worse, that’s my opinion .”

Pay is ‘not the issue in London Underground dispute’

12:27 , Sami Quadri

NHS staff could play same role as striking miners of the 1970s, says historian

12:26 , Sami Quadri

NHS staff could play the role of the striking miners that brought down the Conservatives in 1974, a leading economic historian has said.

Jim Tomlinson, professor of economic and social history at Glasgow University, said Britain was not heading back to the 1970s despite similar concerns over inflation and industrial action.

He told the PA news agency: “Clearly there are similarities, and most obviously the kind of supply side shock of higher oil prices, but beyond that I think so many things are different.”

One key difference Prof Tomlinson identified was not only the size of trade unions but their symbolic importance.

He said: “I think the line-up is very, very different. There are no coal miners, to state the bleeding obvious, who had a substantive and symbolic importance in the early 1970s.

“Coal miners as the symbol of the unionised working class have simply disappeared. I don’t think railway workers have the same place in political argument that coal miners did.”

RMT ridicules government

12:19 , Sami Quadri

Pictured: Passengers wait for the Thames Clippers Uber Boat service in Canary Wharf

12:14 , Sami Quadri


Strikes ‘failing to have a major impact at Britain’s third-busiest station’

12:05 , Sami Quadri

An RMT source admitted that strikes were failing to have a major impact at Britain’s third-busiest station as a number of lines kept running.

At Liverpool Street, commuters flooded off Overground trains from Chingford and Enfield Town approximately every half an hour, most of them heading to the Central and Elizabeth lines.

The union source told PA: “I think it’s been more minor inconvenience than straight direct impact.”

A Pret a Manger, a Pure, and the International Cheese shop all remained closed, while The Savanna, a grocer’s, left a notice apologising to customers for keeping its shutters up.

Commuter slams Government after missing train back to Huddersfield

12:04 , Sami Quadri

Amber Zito, 24, a canine hydrotherapist from Holme Firth, West Yorkshire, had just missed her train back to Huddersfield at Piccadilly railway station in Manchester after vising her boyfriend in the city.

Ms Zito was waiting for the next train in an hour’s time.

She said: “They are usually more frequent. It is not great is it?

“Everything is kind of going t**s up at the moment, planes, trains, everything. Nothing seems to be running properly at the moment.

“I blame the Government for the strike. I don’t blame the people who work for train companies at all.

“They are only trying to do what everyone wants for their job. But it’s frustrating when you want to get somewhere.”

London schools use minibuses to get pupils to exams amid strike

11:42 , Elly Blake

London schools have scrambled their minibuses to collect exam students from home on Tuesday in a bid to ensure A-levels and GCSEs are not disrupted by the strike.

School minibuses were on alert to take teenagers to exam halls if their trip to school was hit by problems and they could not make it in any other way.

It comes as headteachers across London urged students to focus on their exams despite the travel chaos they may face getting in.

Read the full article here.

RMT lay out their reasons for industrial action

11:39 , Elly Blake

London travellers face double whammy of strikes and cancelled flights

11:36 , Elly Blake

Chaos is expected at London airports as passengers scramble to find alternate routes amid rail and Tube strikes, and continued flight cancellations.

Coach and taxi services are poised to pick up the slack, with National Express expecting busy services to and from Gatwick and Stansted airports.

Meanwhile, at least 24 flights had been labelled as cancelled to and from Gatwick Airport on Tuesday, including 18 from EasyJet across popular destinations such as Barcelona, Athens, Ibiza, Belfast City and Edinburgh.

The airport remains busy but with no “significant issues”, a spokesperson told the Standard.

Seven departures had been cancelled on Tuesday out of 367 in total, the spokesperson said.

Read the full article here.

Labour MPs join picket lines in support of striking rail workers

11:23 , Elly Blake

A senior Labour MP has warned colleagues that joining picket lines in support of striking workers will not resolve the dispute on the railways.

Shadow Treasury chief secretary Pat McFadden said he understands why the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is pressing for a pay rise due to the rising cost of living, but that he wants to see a negotiated settlement.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is considering possible disciplinary action after he reportedly ordered frontbenchers not to join picket lines outside stations as the country faces the biggest rail strike in a generation.

A number of Labour backbench MPs posted on social media from picket lines.

Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted a picture of her with striking workers in Seven Sisters in London, adding “(But don’t tell Keir Starmer)” to the caption.

Ian Lavery, the MP for Wansbeck and a former Labour Party chairman, joined a picket in Morpeth, Northumberland, tweeting: “Solidarity with the @RMTunion today and all days.”

Former shadow cabinet minister Richard Burgon said: “We can’t just keep accepting workers’ wages and conditions being driven down so that the profits of the rich are driven up.”

Congestion levels in London hit 98 per cent

11:09 , Elly Blake

Figures published by location technology firm TomTom show the level of road congestion at 8am was higher than the same time last week in several cities.

In London, congestion levels increased from 77 per cent on June 14 to 98 per cent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool saw its congestion levels increase from 48 per cent on June 14, to 55 per cent today.

In Newcastle, congestion levels increased from 50 per cent on June 14 to 57 per cent due to rail strikes.

The figures represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flow conditions.

‘Elizabeth line to the rescue on strike day'

10:28 , Elly Blake

The Elizabeth line has remained open as the majority of the London Underground network is suspended or part suspended due to industrial action.

Despite experiencing “severe delays”, according to the TfL website, there appears to be a steady stream of people passing through the Lizzie line’s gates.

TfL said a reduced service is operating between Paddington and Reading / Heathrow Airport and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield due to strike action.

“Where possible you are strongly encouraged not to travel today,” it advised customers.

City Hall editor Ross Lydall has been out and about in the capital, to see what impact the tube and raile strikes are having on Londoners.

Listen to what RMT union boss Mike Lynch had to say

10:11 , Elly Blake

RMT union boss Mike Lynch has told City Hall editor Ross Lydall that “the strike is completely effective”.

“We don’t want that to continue, we want a negotiated settlement. It’s unfortunate we’ve had to do that but as far as the action is concerned our members are rock solid and determined to see it through”.

Hear more by watching the video below.

PM describes rail strikes as ‘unnecessary aggravations'

10:02 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson told his top ministerial team the strike was causing “significant disruption and inconvenience up and down the country”.

They were making it “more difficult for people to get to work, risking people’s appointments, making it more difficult for kids to sit exams – all sorts of unnecessary aggravations”.

He set out why he believed the strikes were “so wrong and so unnecessary”, pointing to the levels of support offered to the industry during the pandemic and the “colossal” investment in rail infrastructure.

“We believe in our railways, we believe in our railway infrastructure as a vital part of levelling up across the country,” he said.

Boris Johnson at Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson at Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (Getty Images)

Students impacted by rail strikes

09:57 , Elly Blake

Students have told how the rail strikes are impacting them, as strikes clash with A-level and GCSE exams.

Ayo, an 18-year-old student from Birmingham, said he felt those undertaking exams should get “special consideration” because of the impact the rail strikes would have,

He said: “I travel with West Midlands Rail and the strike clashes with my exams next Monday.

“However, it’s stated that instead of the usual schedule, there is just a single train with a single carriage every hour in operation, which is unfair as it means the trains will be packed and some conductors may choose to not allow people on due to it being busy, which means we’d have to wait another hour

“I 100 per cent feel we students should get special consideration because we’d have to wake up extremely early to catch a bus that we’ve never caught before so we’re all on edge and are unable to concentrate and revise in the morning for the exams.

“And it’s just plainly unfair because the lack of sleep due to waking up early may affect us in our exams.”

Pupils sitting exams (PA Wire)
Pupils sitting exams (PA Wire)

Maddison-Rose said out of the four exams she had next week, two of them were on days rail strikes were planned.

The 18-year-old student said she was being put up in a hotel in Sheffield in order to get to her exams, calling it a “stressful time”.

She said: “I travel with Northern and I havefour exams next week, one on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday so this will clash with two of my exams.

“Now they are paying for a hotel for me to stay in Sheffield from Monday to Friday.

“For this year’s A-level students or any student taking their exams, this has been the most stressful time as we had an entire year online and didn’t have enough time to cover all the content which the exam board failed to see.”

Student Beans’ Jessica Pinkett said: “With two days of industrial action, and the rest of the week plagued with delays and cancellations, there is concern that some students may miss A-Level and GCSE exams if cancellations and delays occur on their journey.

“The cancelled rail services also will not be replaced with bus replacement services, and many students will have to get driven to school or will have to learn remotely again.

“Our concern is that many students will not be able to attend school as a result of the strikes resulting in some missing important exams which may leave them at an unfair advantage, and students deserve reassurance that their will be special consideration for these cases where students are unable to travel to the exam hall.”

Reforms needed on the railways, Boris Johnson tells Cabinet ministers

09:49 , Elly Blake

Boris Johnson told a meeting of the Cabinet that reforms were needed on the railways.

“We need the union barons to sit down with Network Rail and the train companies and get on with it,” he said.

“We need, I’m afraid, everybody, and I say this to the country as a whole, we need to get ready to stay the course.

“To stay the course, because these reforms, these improvements in the way we run our railways are in the interests of the travelling public, they will help to cut costs for farepayers up and down the country.”

But the modernisation programme was also in the interests of workers because “if we don’t do this, these great companies, this great industry, will face further financial pressure, it will go bust and the result will be they have to hike up the cost of tickets still further”.

That would result in the “disaster” of declining rail use, he warned.

Pictured: Busy bus stop at Clapham Junction

09:44 , Elly Blake

Bus stops around the capital have seen larger crowds than usual as commuters opt for different modes of transport to get to work.

Clapham Junction (PA)
Clapham Junction (PA)

What’s the current Tube status?

09:39 , Elly Blake

Just after 9.30am, the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines were suspended.

The Central, District, London Overground and Northern lines were part suspended, while the Elizabeth line was experiencing severe delays.

There is a good service on all other lines, according to the TfL website.

As of 9.30am on Tuesday morning (TfL screenshot)
As of 9.30am on Tuesday morning (TfL screenshot)

‘We’re the unlucky ones who still have to work while everyone else is on strike'

09:25 , Elly Blake

A team of cleaners at Birmingham New Street station, who are employed by a third party and have not gone on strike, wryly remarked that they were still having to work.

One, who declined to give his name or that of the company he works for, said: “We’re the unlucky ones who still have to work, for the same pay, while everyone else is on strike.”

Birmingham New Street station on Tuesday morning (PA)
Birmingham New Street station on Tuesday morning (PA)

Pictured: Waterloo eerily empty

09:23 , Elly Blake

Waterloo Station was eerily quiet on Tuesday morning as rail strikes around the country took effect.

The usually busy transport hub was rather light on passengers making their way through the station and onto Tube lines due to strike action on the London Underground.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Stansted Express disruption ‘until further notice'

09:15 , Elly Blake

Stansted Express services are experiencing disruption due to a fault with the signalling system at Stansted Airport, meaning “some lines are blocked”.

The operator said on Tuesday morning that train services running to and from the airport may be cancelled or altered.

Disruption is “expected until further notice,” they added.

At the moment, most services are running from London Liverpool Street as far as Bishops Stortford, where they are being terminated.

Pictured: Picket lines across UK

09:06 , Elly Blake

Glasgow (Getty Images)
Glasgow (Getty Images)
Brighton (PA)
Brighton (PA)
Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images)

One commuter’s usual 10-minute journey takes 90 minutes

09:05 , Elly Blake

Electrical engineer Harry Charles said his normal 10-minute journey to work by train to London Bridge took him 90 minutes.

The 30-year-old, from Lewisham, south-east London, said: “Obviously I had to wake up early and left my house at 6am.

“I am with the employees who are striking because their money is not going up and the cost of everything is rising.

“The strike has caused a lot of hassle for people but everyone wants be able to eat and be able to afford to put in a good day’s work.”

The father-of-three added: “I had to go in as I work in a hospital.

“I travelled by bus and it was full. I had to let three or four buses go.

“One thing is – just imagine what it would be like getting through this if the weather was bad.”

Uber hikes prices as demand for drivers surge

09:03 , Elly Blake

Uber users in London are being hit with a surge in prices amid strikes on the railways and London Underground.

A three-mile journey from Paddington to King’s Cross was estimated to cost £27 at 8.45am.

A novel way to get to work...

08:56 , Elly Blake

Can’t get to work by train? How about kayaking down the Thames like one commuter tried this morning.

What are Labour MPs saying about the rail strikes?

08:53 , Elly Blake

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had the whip removed in 2020, and several of his close supporters have shared messages of solidarity with rail workers taking part in the strikes.

“Solidarity with @RMTunion railway workers striking up and down the country this week,” Mr Corbyn tweeted.

“We cannot let the profits of the rich continue to grow at the expense of workers’ jobs, wages, conditions, pensions and safety.”

Coventry South Labour MP Zarah Sultana shared a picture of herself at a picket in London, tweeting: “Great to join striking @RMTunion members at Victoria Station this morning alongside Socialist Campaign Group comrades.”

Richard Burgon, a former shadow cabinet member under Mr Corbyn, tweeted: “We can’t just keep accepting workers’ wages and conditions being driven down so that the profits of the rich are driven up.”

‘My day has been horrible and it has only just started'

08:45 , Elly Blake

Clinical nurse manager Priya Govender said she has “already had a horrible day and it has only just started”.

The 37-year-old had stayed at a hotel in Liverpool Street, central London, after working at her office on Monday, hoping that an early start would enable her to get home to South Coulsdon.

Her day started at 6.15am and she does not think she will arrive until after 10am.

Still trying to figure out what route to take from London Bridge, she said: “I did not think it would be this bad. Some trains are running but a lot have been cancelled.

“I definitely will not be able to get a bus because they are packed. I will have to get an Uber.

“I still have to start work at 9am but at least I can work from home and have some flexibility.

“My day has been horrible. It is going to be a long day and I still have a full day’s work to do. After this, I will just work from home on a strike day.”

Ms Govender, who works for a private healthcare group, said she is “with” the strikers, adding: “I know what people are feeling in today’s world and it is hard, even though travelling is really not great for me now.”’

Pictured: Buses take the brunt as Tube lines down

08:42 , Elly Blake

People wait at bus stop outside Clapham Junction (PA)
People wait at bus stop outside Clapham Junction (PA)
People at a bus stop outside London Liverpool Street (AP)
People at a bus stop outside London Liverpool Street (AP)
People board bus outside Victoria Station (REUTERS)
People board bus outside Victoria Station (REUTERS)

How are London’s busy railway hubs faring this morning?

08:16 , Elly Blake


A usually busy London Euston Station was almost deserted on Tuesday morning, with just a tiny fraction of the usual crowds of commuters present.

Little more than two dozen people waited for a reduced number of trains during what would normally be rush hour.

Clapham Junction

Queues at bus stops outside Clapham Junction station in south-west London are growing quickly as the rail and Tube strikes hit commuters.

Traffic on the roads around the station has also begun to build up, with congestion bringing cars to a standstill.

Meanwhile, a steady flow of commuters who are travelling on reduced train services are coming in and out of the station.


Paddington station in London was largely deserted on Tuesday morning, with just a fraction of the usual crowds of commuters present.

Around 25 passengers waited on the eerily quiet concourse, while intermittent announcements urged people to “only travel by rail if necessary”.

A handful of Network Rail staff were on hand to help travellers and field occasional queries.

London Bridge

By 9am, the normally busy London Bridge Underground station was deserted.

The entrances were closed off by metal fences, and boards inside told anyone who had arrived that the station was shut due to the industrial action.

Behind the barriers, the concourse and ticket area, which would normally be teeming during the morning rush-hour, was empty.

A message running across a ticker board stated “This station is closed owing to strike”, and station staff could be seen telling travellers where they might be able to take a different route and how to pay with their cards.

Pictured: Victoria Station train departures board shows cancellations

08:14 , Elly Blake

Victoria Station (REUTERS)
Victoria Station (REUTERS)

Cobra meeting convened over rail strikes, says minister

08:12 , Elly Blake

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there will be meetings of the Cobra emergency committee on the rail strikes this week.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Yes. There are Cobra meetings this week.”

Grant Shapps: Rail strikes ‘unnecessary’

07:08 , Sarah Harvey

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has blasted the rail strikes as “unnecessary”.

He told Sky News: “It’s taking us back to the bad old days of union strikes”.

Mr Shapps said that the Government was “going to have to push on with these reforms anyway” including modernisation and to ensure railways were run “in the interest of passengers”.

However, “nothing we could do this week will change the reality [of strikes] this week”.

Family say strikes have left ‘sour’ taste as it causes chaos to holiday plans

06:55 , Elly Blake

Luke Lilburn and his family arrived at Paddington station two hours early today fearing that their Heathrow Express train would be cancelled.

The contracts manager, 45 who was jetting back to Australia with his wife and his two children after a family visit, said the strike left a “sour” taste especially as his elderly father had not been able to see him off despite planning a trip from Devon where he lives.

Luke Lilburn and his family (John Dunne / Evening Standard)
Luke Lilburn and his family (John Dunne / Evening Standard)

Sitting at the station with his children Archie, four, Molly, six, and wife Melissa, 41, said: “We had to get here so early because we feared all the disruption. It’s so difficult with children but we had to come here early in case the train didn’t run.

“My father was supposed to come to London from Devon to see us off but he wouldn’t have been able to get back because of the strike. He had booked a hotel to be with us on our last night so has lost his money for that.

“You never know when you are going to see people again, he is getting old and we are far away.

“As far as I know the rail workers get paid as much or more as frontline workers like in the NHS so I don’t think they should be striking. It’s left a sour taste in my mouth.”

Which train lines are affected by the strikes?

06:46 , Elly Blake

Thirteen train operators will be directly impacted by the strikes, while some routes operated by other companies will also be disrupted. Those directly impacted include:

  • Avanti West Coast

  • c2c

  • Chiltern Railways

  • CrossCountry

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Great Western Railway (GWR)

  • Greater Anglia

  • London North Eastern Railway (LNER)

  • Northern Trains

  • South Eastern Railway

  • South Western Railway

  • TransPennine Express

  • West Midlands Trains

Could this be a summer of strikes?

06:43 , Elly Blake

The UK could see a summer of rail strikes if a deal is not reached, the general secretary of the RMT union said on Monday.

Mick Lynch told a press briefing: “Our campaign will run as long as it needs to run until we get a settlement acceptable to our people.

“Whenever we get an offer that is tenable we will put that to our members in a referendum.”

Asked if the strikes could last for months if a deal is not reached Mr Lynch replied: “I think it will, yes.”

Pictured: Hammersmith empty as strikes begin

06:41 , Elly Blake

The Standard’s Gareth Richman is passing by a very empty Hammersmith station this morning.

Hammersmith station (Gareth Richman / Evening Standard)
Hammersmith station (Gareth Richman / Evening Standard)

Business bosses predict ‘incredible’ damage due to rail strike disruption

06:35 , Elly Blake

Business chiefs have warned that continued strike actions will cause “incredible” damage to the UK.

Economists at the Centre for Economics and Business Researc warned that the three strikes across Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will have a fallout worth at least £91 million to the economy.

Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the capital “cannot afford a summer of chaos on the railways and tube lines”.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, projected the action could cost the sector up to £540 million.

She said: “Fragile consumer confidence will take a further hit, thousands of people able and willing to spend money in hospitality venues across the country will be prevented from doing so, while staff will undoubtedly struggle to even get to work.”

Meanwhile, James Hardiman, senior analyst at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “UK footfall is already down on pre-pandemic levels, and this will only slow the progress retailers have made to bring people back in-store.”

London’s Paddington station a ghost town

06:24 , Sarah Harvey

The Standard’s John Dunne is at a very empty Paddington Station this morning.

 (John Dunne/Evening Standard)
(John Dunne/Evening Standard)

How will the strike affect services?

06:15 , Sarah Harvey

Who is going on strike?

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators.

How bad will the disruption be?

Fewer than one in five trains will run, and only on main lines and only for around 11 hours, starting later and finishing earlier.

Will there be strikes on the London Underground?

Yes. Members of the RMT and Unite will strike on Tuesday.

Are other unions involved in the dispute?

Yes. The Transport Salaried Staffs Association and the drivers union Aslef are also taking industrial action or balloting for strikes.

What are the strikes about?

The railways are proposing to make efficiency savings, especially as fewer passengers are travelling by train because of the pandemic, which has led to more people working from home.

Last ditch talks fail

06:13 , Sarah Harvey

Morning, and welcome to the Standard’s Tube blog. We will be giving you updates across the day as the biggest rail strike in a generation goes ahead. Last-ditch talks failed to resolve the bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, with all sides blaming each other for the lack of progress.

Much of Britain will have no passenger trains for the entire day, including most of Scotland and Wales, the whole of Cornwall and Dorset, and places such as Chester, Hull, Lincoln and Worcester.

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