Tube strikes – live: London-wide walkout hits Underground, rail and bus services

·12-min read

After the chaos of yesterday’s train strikes, new industrial action by London Underground, Overground and bus drivers is set to shut down much of London’s transport network on Friday

The 24-hour tube strike today will see members of the RMT Union working for London Underground walk out because of an ongoing dispute over jobs and pensions.

Around 10,000 Tube workers in the union are expected to strike, causing major disruption to TfL’s network. Early this morning, only the Northern, Central, District, Elizabeth and Overground lines saw an extremely limited service on certain branches.

Alongside them, 1,100 members of the Unite union, employed at London Underground, Croydon Tramlink, Victoria coach station, Dial-a-Ride and river service; and around 400 London Overground workers employed by Arriva Rail London will stage separate walkouts today, while bus drivers working for United London will also strike today and tomorrow.

Another rail strike is scheduled for tomorrow with union bosses warning they will continue “for as long as it takes”.

Key Points

  • Underground and bus strikes bring services to halt across London

  • How can you get around during London Underground walkout

  • Why are this week’s rail walkouts happening and who will be affected?

  • Pay dispute will continue ‘for as long as it takes’, union bosses warn

Truss: I’ll crack down on ‘debilitating’ strikes

10:22 , Lucy Thackray

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss says she will “crack down” on “debilitating” strikes if she becomes prime minister.

She told the Express: “Once again we’re seeing militant trade unionists holding our country to ransom, with members of Sir Keir Starmer’s party keeping them company on the picket lines.

“As prime minister I’ll crack down on the debilitating strikes that cripple the vital services that hard-working people rely on.”

Ms Truss’ plans include introducing minimum service levels on key infrastructure across the UK, and raising ballot thresholds to make it harder for unions to plan strikes.

'Get out of the way’ Grant Shapps tells union bosses

10:06 , Lucy Thackray

Amid a second day of transport strike misery, the UK’s transport secretary Grant Shapps has told union bosses to “get out of the way” and let members decide on a settlement with employers.

When asked why strikes were dragging on, Mr Shapps told Sky News: “Because the union bosses won’t put the settlement deals to their members.

“So we’ve had a situation where 8 per cent over two years has been offered - it’s different depending on which piece of the rail we’re talking about here - but broadly speaking,” he continued.

“And the bosses, for example, the boss of the RMT, simply make the decision without going out to their membership to ask them whether they would like to settle this and get back to work.

“It’s time for the union bosses to get out of the way and put the deals on the table to their members.”

Sadiq Khan criticised for failing to deliver on ‘zero strikes’

09:47 , Lucy Thackray

The City Hall Conservative group has criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan for failing to deliver on a “zero strike” pledge to the city.

Nick Rogers, the group’s transport spokesperson, said the present action leaves Mr Khan’s “zero strike” pledge “in pieces”.

He told LondonWorld: “Londoners are once again facing major disruption because Sadiq Khan is focused on political posturing and not on getting a grip of TfL.

“The mayor should face down the militant unions, secure a long-term funding settlement for TfL, and end these strikes.”

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said: “Sadiq is extremely disappointed about the strikes going ahead on London Underground this week.

“The strikes taking place across the country, as well as here in London, will cause disruption at a crucial time when we’re working to rebuild the country’s economy.”

“Under this government, we are seeing more and more strikes taking place across the country, and it’s no secret that the conditions placed on TfL as part of previous emergency funding deals with the government following the impacts of the pandemic have been a primary motivator for strikes by London’s transport workers.

“Before the pandemic hit, Sadiq had reduced overall strike action on TfL services by over 70 per cent compared to the previous mayor’s record.

“The mayor continues to urge the unions to work with TfL and to join him in calling on the government to provide the sustainable funding needed to protect the capital’s transport network – not just for the benefit of London, but the whole country.”

Woman describes nightmare journey with closed line and terminated bus

09:30 , Lucy Thackray

A woman in London has told London Live about a nightmare journey this morning after a series of modes of transport failed her.

Jane Abbey told London Live that she had aimed to get the Piccadilly Line to King’s Cross; then took a bus which proceeded to terminate at Marble Arch; waited while two full buses went past; took another bus to Baker Street, was asked to disembark that; and eventually walked 35 minutes to her destination.

Grant Shapps ‘prioritising licensing cyclists rather than tackling profound transport failings’ - Simon Calder

09:09 , Lucy Thackray

The London Underground strike is sandwiched between two national rail strikes, in the most serious collapse of normal train services for three decades.

In addition to the rail chaos, writes Simon Calder in his weekly travel newsletter, airline and ferry passengers are facing severe problems. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is the obvious person to intervene.

“As the fortunes of travellers dwindle, we need urgent action from the minister in charge. Mr Shapps, though, is prioritising registering and licensing cyclists. As recently as 2018, a thorough study about such a bike scheme concluded: ‘The costs and complexity of introducing such a system would significantly outweigh the benefits.’

“The transport secretary might want to pay heed to the report, because it was conducted by his very own Department for Transport.”

The Independent’s Jon Stone has written: “Grant Shapps, with both eyes on his own political future, is throwing a little bit of anti-cycling meat out for the Tory press before the new prime minister comes in. It is a pitch to keep his job, essentially.”

Sign up to Simon’s free newsletter here:

Bus users hoping to avoid Tube warned of London bus strike

08:44 , Lucy Thackray

Many people who usually use the Tube to get around London will be hoping to catch a city bus instead. However, there is also a bus driver strike today and tomorrow (19 and 20 August),

Around 1,600 bus drivers who are members of the Unite union and employees of London United are involved in the 48-hour walkout, on top of the RMT Tube workers strike and London Overground strike.

Bus services will be disrupted in west and south west London and parts of Surrey on both days.

Read more on which services are affected here:

When is the London bus strike and which routes are affected?

TFL posts colour-coded chart for affected services, warns of Sunday disruption

08:32 , Lucy Thackray

TFL has published a handy chart showing which London services are out of action today

“Strikes will affect your journey 18 and 21 August,” they said.

On the chart, a red dot = no service / severe disruption - avoid travel.

Orange dot = reduced / irregular service - check before you travel / allow more time for your journey.

Green dot = check before you travel.

It shows disruption expected on the Overground, DLR, Elizabeth line and London buses into mid-morning on Sunday.

TFL’s colour-coded chart for Thursday to Sunday disruption (TFL)
TFL’s colour-coded chart for Thursday to Sunday disruption (TFL)

National Rail: Disruption between London Paddington and Heathrow expected until 10.30

08:14 , Lucy Thackray

National Rail enquiries has alerted train passengers that services between Paddington and Heathrow Airport remain disrupted, and will be until mid-morning, due to a signalling issue.

An alert read: “A fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Acton Main Line is causing disruption to journeys between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport / Reading. As a result, trains may be cancelled or delayed by up to 20 minutes.

“Disruption is expected until 10:30.”

Which lines are running this morning?

07:59 , Lucy Thackray

Though most TfL lines are out of actions as of 8am Friday, there are a few with a reduced service.

The Elizabeth line is seeing trains, albeit with “severe delays”.

On the Northern line, a reduced service is operating between Golders Green and Edgware and between High Barnet and East Finchley, with trains approximately every five minutes.

On the Central line, a reduced service is operating between White City and West Ruislip / Ealing Broadway; between Liverpool Street and Hainault via Newbury Park; and between Leytonstone and Epping with trains approximately every 15 minutes.

On the District line, a reduced service is operating between West Ham and Upminster, approximately every 15 minutes.

On the London Overground, a reduced service is operating between Highbury & Islington and Clapham Junction/New Cross/Crystal Palace and West Croydon only.

(Alamy/PA)
(Alamy/PA)

TfL reminds customers to not travel today

07:40 , Stuti Mishra

Transport bosses have been telling passengers not to travel unless necessary.

“Customers are advised to avoid travelling on the Tube and only travel on the rest of the TfL network if essential,” Transport for London (TfL)said in a statement.

There will be “severe disruption” on all lines with little to no services throughout the day and no Night Tube.

A coordinated bus strike will also see some services out of operation.

National Rail services will not operate as normal.

Bicycle company offers Londoners free bikes on strike days

07:20 , Stuti Mishra

A bike company is helping Londoners avoid commuter chaos by offering them a free bike on strike days.

During today’s walkouts and into the weekend, Swapfiets will be lending commuters a free bike to use for up to seven days.

More details here:

Bike company offers Londoners bicycles for free on tube strike days

Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as train, tube and bus strikes hit UK

07:00 , Stuti Mishra

Thursday and Saturday see nationwide industrial action across Britain’s railways, while on Friday the capital will grind to a halt amid London bus and Tube walkouts.

Worried about whether your train will run? Caught up in some of the summer holiday chaos as travel resumes at scale? Messed around by an airline or holiday company? Concerned about the reported demise of those ultra-low £10 air fares? Or simply after some inspiration for a winter getaway?

Our expert Simon Calder will be on hand on Friday 19 August to answer all your questions in an ‘Ask me anything’ event between 4 and 5pm. He will be answering live in the comments section below.

Simon Calder to answer your travel questions as train, tube and bus strikes hit UK

Network Rail boss defends £590,000 salary as 45,000 rail workers strike over pay

06:40 , Stuti Mishra

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines has dismissed questions about his £590,000 salary, as tens of thousands of railway workers go on strike over pay and conditions.

A BBC Breakfast reporter on Thursday highlighted Mr Haines’ recent pay rise from £544,000 to £590,000, saying: “It’s a huge amount of money to people listening to this. How do you defend that?”

Mr Haines responded: “What happened was I took a

pay cut the previous year, so my salary this coming year will be exactly the same as in 2018.

Lucy Thackray has more:

Network Rail boss defends £590,000 salary as 45,000 workers strike over pay

Pay dispute will continue ‘for as long as it takes’, union bosses warn

06:20 , Stuti Mishra

Rail union leaders have warned the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions will continue “for as long as it takes” as travel chaos continues for a second day.

Tens of thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite walked out yesterday, affecting Network Rail and train operators across the country.

Another strike will be held on Saturday while RMT members on London Underground and London Overground, and some bus drivers in the capital in Unite are on a strike today,

Unions continued to blame Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for the deadlocked rail dispute.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary has said he hopes “common sense will now prevail” and the demands of the unions will be met.

“But for this to happen, Grant Shapps must either come to the table or give train operators the mandate to negotiate and break this impasse.

“Unless a negotiated settlement which is acceptable to our members is reached, this dispute will continue for as long as it takes.”

Read more:

Rail union bosses warn pay dispute will continue ‘for as long as it takes’

Why are this week’s rail walkouts happening and who will be affected?

06:00 , Stuti Mishra

Passengers face yet more disruption to their journeys this week with Underground workers now staging a walkout after rail strikes.

The services will continue to be impacted with another nationwide strike planned for tomorrow.

But why are the strikes happening, and what have unions, rail companies and government said about the disruption?

Here’s everything you need to know about these strikes:

Train strikes: Why are this week’s rail walkouts happening?

How can you get around during London Underground walkout

05:40 , Stuti Mishra

As Tube workers stage a walk-out today on the heels of nationwide rail strikes, and with more strike action to come, it means transport disruption is likely to continue throughout the weekend.

TfL is advising customers to “avoid travel on the Tube if possible and only travel on the rest of the network if essential”.

There will be “severe disruption” on all lines with little to no services throughout the day and no Night Tube.

A coordinated bus strike will also see some services out of operation.

But if you do have an essential journey, how can you get around London?

Here are some options:

How can Londoners get around during Tube strike?

Underground and bus strikes bring services to halt across London

05:26 , Stuti Mishra

Workers on the London Underground and bus services are staging a strike today as part of a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions.

The 24-hour Tube strike today will see RMT Union members working for London Underground stage a walkout.

Around 10,000 Tube workers in the union are expected to go on strike, causing major disruption to TfL’s network.

Alongside them, 1,100 members of the Unite union, employed at London Underground, Croydon Tramlink, Victoria coach station, Dial-a-Ride and river service, will also walk out today.

And around 400 London Overground workers employed by Arriva Rail London will stage a separate walkout today, while bus drivers working for United London will also strike today and tomorrow.

05:06 , Stuti Mishra

Good morning! Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog covering all the latest updates on the tube strike on 19 August 2022. Stay tuned!