London Underground and Overground services have been massively disrupted today, Friday 19 August, as Transport for London (TfL) staff take part in strike action.
Twelve Tube lines and the London Overground are either entirely or part suspended, causing commuter chaos.
Workers have walked out today over two separate disputes and amid a wave of industrial action on Britain’s railways. At the same time bus staff in the capital are also planning a walk-out on Friday and Saturday.
Around 10,000 RMT union members on the Tube are taking part in the 24-hour strike, along with 400 Arriva staff working on the London Overground.
TfL warned that the action will cause severe disruption and urged passengers not to travel unless it is essential.
Friday’s strike has fallen between two 24-hour strikes on the national rail network, which will see only a fifth of services running and affect routes into and around London.
What TfL services are running or cancelled?
Twelve different London Underground lines and the London Overground have all been affected by the RMT strike.
- Bakerloo line: No service on the entire line.
- 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 approximately every 15 minutes. No service on the rest of the line.
- Circle line: No service on the entire line.
- District line: A reduced service is operating between West Ham and Dagenham East, approximately every 15 minutes. No service on the rest of the line due to strike action.
- Hammersmith and City line: No service due to strike action.
- Jubilee line: No service on the entire line.
- London Overground: There is no service between Liverpool Street - Cheshunt / Chingford / Enfield Town. A reduced service is operating Highbury & Islington - Clapham Junction / New Cross / Crystal Palace / West Croydon. There are severe delays between Stratford - Richmond / Clapham Junction, and a good service between Romford - Upminster and Gospel Oak - Barking Riverside.
- Metropolitan line: No service due to strike action.
- Northern line: A reduced service is operating between Golders Green and Edgware and between East Finchley and High Barnet / Mill Hill East, approximately every five minutes. No service on the rest of the line due to strike action.
- Piccadilly line: No service on the entire line due to strike action.
- Tram: There are minor delays due to faulty trams.
- Victoria line: No service due to strike action.
- Waterloo and City line: No service due to strike action.
Is the Elizabeth line running?
The Elizabeth line will be running as normal from 7am, although trains on the Central line may not stop at all stations after 10.30pm.
The DLR into Bank will run from 7am to 6.30pm.
Will the Night Tube be running?
There will be no Night Tube services on Friday night. Passengers are advised to avoid the Tube unless absolutely necessary.
There will also be no Night Overground.
When is the London bus strike?
Separate strike action by bus staff on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 will see services affected in west and south west London and parts of Surrey.
Passengers should expect disruption on the following routes: 9, 18, 33, 49, 65, 70, 71, 72, 85, 94, 105, 110, 116, 117, 148, 203, 211, 216, 220, 223, 224, 235, 258, 265, 266, 272, 281, 283, 290, 293, 371, 404, 406, 411, 418, 419, 423, 440, 465, 467, 470, 481, C1, E1, E3, H17, H22, H32, H37, H91, H98, K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, N9, N18, N33, N65, N72, N266 and S3.
There will be no Night Bus services on affected routes.
How do the national rail strikes affect TfL services?
As well as Friday’s strike, TfL has warned that the wider national rail strike affecting Network Rail and train operators will cause some problems around the capital.
Most TfL services are running as normal on Thursday 18 and Saturday 20 but Tube services will not start until 8am on Saturday and Sunday as a result of the previous days’ action.
National rail services to and from the capital are also not expected to resume until around 8am on Friday and Sunday.
Travellers have been warned to expect disruption on the following lines and areas on Saturday:
- London Overground - reduced service between 8am and 6pm. No service after 6pm. No Night Overground
- Elizabeth line: Central - reduced service after 18:00; East - trains running every 30 minutes7am-5.30pm only. Trains won’t stop at Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Goodmayes; West - trains every 30 minutes 7.10am-5:40pm only. Heathrow trains only running to Terminal 4
- District line - no service between Wimbledon and Parson’s Green, and Richmond and Turnham Green before 08:00 and after 18:00
- Bakerloo line - no service north of Queen’s Park
Why are Tube and Overground workers on strike?
The RMT says that staff are striking over pay, pensions and proposed changes to working practices.
Overground workers voted to strike after refusing a below-inflation pay offer. The union said its members rejected “a paltry 5% pay offer” from Arriva Rail London, “despite the company making millions for shareholders”.
Tube workers are to walk out over fears for job security, with the union accusing TfL and London mayor Sadiq Khan of holding “secret” talks with the Government over plans to change working structures. The RMT says that TfL bosses have “consistently refused” to engage in discussions around job security, conditions and pensions.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “TfL have had ample opportunity to be transparent about the funding they will receive and to give tube workers the assurances they need. Yet they have totally failed to give those guarantees.”
Why are bus staff striking?
Around 1,600 staff on Arriva buses are staging a separate two-day action, also over pay. Staff were offered a 3.6% pay rise this year, which the Unite union rejected.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The workers’ parent company RATP is fabulously wealthy and it can fully afford to pay our members a decent wage increase. Unite’s members play a crucial role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept seeing their pay constantly eroded.”
What has RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said?
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said he was “very sorry” people had been inconvenienced by the strikes but defended the action, adding the union had to show it was “deadly serious” about the livelihoods of its members.
He said: “We’re very sorry that people are inconvenienced. I mean, we’re inconveniencing people that are in the same boat as us. We’re ordinary men and women that want to do our jobs and provide a service, but when you’re being cut to pieces by an employer, and by the Government, you’ve got to make a stand.
“So we’re making that stand on behalf of our members, but many other workers in Britain are suffering some very similar things and you’re going to see a wave of this type of action. We can’t stand by and watch our conditions be chopped up. Otherwise, it’ll just be a race to the bottom for all British workers.”
Mr Lynch warned of further walkouts, saying it was likely the union would have to use its “mandate to strike action going forward”.
What has TfL said?
Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: "I would like to apologise to our customers for the strike action being carried out by RMT and Unite, which will have a significant impact on the city’s transport network.
“I understand how frustrating these strikes are and I’d like to remind the RMT and Unite that it’s not too late to work with us, Arriva Rail London and RATP to find a resolution and avoid the huge disruption this action will cause to people’s journeys and to the economy.”
TfL said the RMT strike was taking place “despite the fact no proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals TfL has set out”.
What has mayor of London Sadiq Khan said?
The Mayor of London said the latest 24-hour shut down of the capital’s Underground was “incredibly frustrating”, and he could not commit that the industrial dispute between Transport for London (TfL) and unions will be resolved by the new year.
In an interview with PA news agency, Mr Khan stood by his 2016 pledge for “zero strikes” on the Tube, saying he had reduced walkouts between then and the start of the pandemic “by more than 70% by talking at the same time as making big changes in TfL”.
But he warned: “I am frustrated by the strikes today. It’s ordinary Londoners, commuters and businesses who will be affected today at a time we’re trying to get a recovery.
“If we were speaking in January, the amount of people using the tube was about 45% versus pre-pandemic [levels].
“It’s now more than 70%, I worry that next week when public transport is running fully, we’ll have fewer people using public transport which limits our ability to make a full recovery sooner.”