Tube strike chaos hits drivers

Tube strike chaos hits drivers

Drivers, as well as rail commuters, suffered at the hands of Thursday's Tube strike in London.

Motorists in and around the capital had to deal with hundreds of morning rush-hour tailbacks, estimated to stretch a total of 200 miles.

By 8.45am traffic experts reported there had been up to 428 traffic jams - twice the normal level of congestion. The evening saw things deteriorate further with over 500 miles worth of reported tailbacks as well as 894 road jams.

Train and bus passengers experienced massive queues as they headed to the office and back again.

Tube staff strikers promised that the chaos would get worse unless the dispute over through-the-night London Underground services is resolved.

Motorists could be on the receiving end of a two-day strike next, in the heart of the capital's hectic tourist season. Union officials will discuss this possibility next week.

Unions are protesting against rosters being drawn up to facilitate the start of all-night Tubes from September 12. They say the "hellish" shifts will bring chaos to employees' work-life balance.

London Mayor Boris Johnson claims that unions are "holding guns" to the travelling public's heads.

Transport for London officials deployed over 600 station "travel ambassadors". These gave Tube passengers alternative arrangements.

The chief operating officer for London Underground, Steve Griffiths thanked Tube passengers for supporting it during the "unnecessary" industrial action. He described the offer made to rail unions "very fair" with bonuses and pay rises offered to everyone.

Mr Griffiths says their work-life balance is also being safeguarded. He adds the night-time services are generating more than 500 jobs, including station staff and drivers.

The company is willing to chat to the unions at all times, Mr Griffiths said, and he asked them to get over the row and bring about the all-night Tube service the capital needs.

Copyright Press Association 2015