Round-the-clock tube closure begins: millions face travel chaos as major lines offer reduced service

Millions of people face travel chaos as of today as major lines show reduced service or come to a complete stop.



Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union today began a series of 24-hour walkouts on staff turnover changes to restart the metro at night after talks between Transport for London (TfL) and union bosses collapsed.

The union said its members were urged to work both night and day after the removal of dedicated night staff.



The Victoria, Central, Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines were shut down at 4.30am today causing further disruption to the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

TfL says those lines are likely to be severely disrupted from 7 p.m. every weekend, a blow to party-goers in December.



A TfL source told the London Evening Standard yesterday that “not much has developed” since the industrial action was announced, but that TfL “remains open to talks” with RMT.

TfL warned of a disruption in services and advised people to check before traveling.



The Night Tube has been suspended due to the pandemic and is due to restart on Friday.

The Victoria, Central, Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines were shut down at 4.30am today causing further disruption to the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

The Victoria, Central, Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines were shut down at 4.30am today causing further disruption to the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

There will also be action on the Central and Victoria lines from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. each intermediate Saturday and Sunday by December 18.

There will also be action on the Central and Victoria lines from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. each intermediate Saturday and Sunday by December 18.

Passengers leave a busy underground still wearing their masks in London

Passengers leave a busy underground still wearing their masks in London

Which metro lines will be affected and why are the drivers going on strike?

What is happening?

RMT began a 24-hour walkout on all five metro lines starting at 4.30 a.m. on Friday, November 26.

Which tube lines will be affected?

TfL said metro lines should be affected:

  • 04:30 am November 26 – 4:29 am November 27 (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. November 27 – 4:29 a.m. November 28 (Central & Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. December 3 – 4:29 a.m. December 4 (Central & Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. December 4 – 4:29 a.m. December 5 (Central & Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. December 10 – 4:29 a.m. December 11 (Central & Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. December 11 – 4:29 a.m. December 12 (Central & Victoria)
  • 8:30 p.m. December 17 – 4:29 a.m. December 18 (Central & Victoria)
  • 04:30 am December 18 – 04:29 am December 19 (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria)

Why are the pipe operators going on strike?

TfL has announced that London Underground service is expected to resume from November 27 on the Victoria and Central lines.

The east-west central line and the north-south Victoria lines were to operate overnight on Fridays and Saturdays of each week.

The RMT says the rotational changes have resulted in “unacceptable and intolerable demands” on its members and their work-life balance.

Metro drivers protest against staff turnover to restart the night metro, which must resume service late Saturday evening and Sunday morning on the Victoria and Central lines.

TfL insists that all of Tube’s other unions agreed to the change in rotations in May, which came after 200 Night Tube employees were brought into TfL’s “Day Tube” workforce, and called the strike “unnecessary”.

But RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accused Tube bosses of “categorically refusing to address the serious grievances at the heart of the conflict”, but added that the union “also remains open to talks”.

The union says the changes have brought “unacceptable and intolerable demands” on its members.

Similar strikes were planned over the summer over the same issue, which were called off after “last minute” talks with TfL.

Mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL are “confident” they can restart night services, but said they may be able to run fewer metro trains than hoped.

TfL could face further disruption over Christmas as the ASLEF union threatens its members to strike over changes to TfL’s pension plans.

TfL is required to conduct a review of its pension plans as a condition of the funding agreement with the government.

ASLEF underground organizer Finn Brennan said there would be “tough and sustained industrial action on the London Underground” if changes were imposed, although no date has been confirmed.

Sir Brendan Barber, former TUC general secretary and current head of ACAS, has been appointed to lead a “truly independent” review of TfL pensions.

TfL commissioner Andy Byford said there were “no predetermined outcomes” from the review and said “we will report back in due course”.

In a statement, Mr. Lynch said: “This strike is about the dismantling of popular and family deals that helped the success of the original Night Tube.

“Instead, the company wants to cut costs and lump all drivers into a pool where they can be kicked from one pillar to another at the request of management.

“We have made every effort within ACAS and direct talks from the start to resolve this dispute, but it is clear that the bosses of LU are only motivated by the bottom line and have no interest in the bottom line. well-being of their staff or passenger service.

“This strike action, and its dire consequences in the run-up to Christmas, was preventable if Tube management had not cut Night Tube’s dedicated staff and perfectly achievable arrangements to cut staff and costs.

“We warned months ago that cutting two hundred night train driver positions would create a staffing nightmare and that LU must start dealing with this reality and soon.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meets with members of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir at the recently opened Battersea Power Station in south London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meets with members of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir at the recently opened Battersea Power Station in south London

“The union remains available for further discussions even at this late stage.”

Nick Dent, London Underground Customer Operations Manager, said: “The strike action planned by the RMT is unnecessary and will threaten London’s recovery from the pandemic, despite no job losses and more flexibility and support. job security for drivers.

“While all other unions have accepted these changes and our staff have been enjoying the benefits of the changes since August, we are ready to work with RMT and review the changes after the return of Night Tube services.

“This review can only be successful if the RMT agrees to meet with us for discussions and withdraws its proposed action so that we can all see how these changes will work in practice.

“If the RMT refuses to engage with us and takes its unnecessary action, which is timed to disrupt our customers looking to enjoy London during the holiday season as much as possible, Londoners are advised to check before traveling on days of planned strike. ‘

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