Conservative members of the London Assembly have renewed calls for reforms to strike laws, just days before a planned strike by London Overground staff is due to go ahead.
Last week The RMT union announced train guards working on the Overground would hold a 48-hour strike this weekend in a row about jobs.
Transport for London has asked London Overground Rail Operations Limited, the company which operates the Overground on its behalf, to remove train guards from two routes.
The East London and Euston-Watford lines already operate without guards and TfL wants to standardise operating procedures across the network by extending Driver Only Operation to the the North and West London Lines.
The union claims the guards are “safety critical” and is blaming recent cuts in Transport for London’s Government funding for the decision to remove them.
However TfL and LOROL have denied claims that axing the posts will endanger the public.
Last week Ian Brown CBE, former Managing Director of London Rail at TfL, warned the RMT risked undermining its credibility by “consistently” making claims that public safety was at risk.
The strike is set to take place between 00:01 hours on Sunday 25th August 2013 and 23:59 hours on Monday 26th August 2013.
TfL says it and LOROL “will be working to run as many services as possible” and that passengers will be able to use alternative Tube, bus and rail services to make their journey.
Despite efforts to alleviate any disruption, London Assembly Member Richard Tracey says Londoners are likely to be inconvenienced “because 43% of train guards – a mere 53 workers – have opted for strike action.”
Mr Tracey and his Conservative colleagues on the Assembly have previously called for strike laws to be reformed to require a 50%+1 ‘yes vote’ to initiate binding arbitration instead of strikes.
Mr Tracey said: “TfL and the Mayor need to begin to think differently about staff strikes to prevent further passenger delays and lost revenues to the London economy.”
He added: “If London had introduced 50%+1 back in 2005 – which requires a majority of all eligible trade union members having to vote ‘yes’ for strike action to go ahead – there would have been 4 days of strikes rather than 30 days.
“Considering that the average tube strike costs £48 million a day – avoiding the 26 days could have saved London over a billion pounds”
TfL Service Information:
Sunday 25 August and Monday 26 August
Richmond/Clapham Junction to Stratford routes
Between Willesden Junction and Stratford a regular train service will operate with four trains per hour in each direction, with an additional further 2 trains (6 in total per hour) between 18.00 and 21.00.
The first train from Willesden Junction will be at 09.00 on Sunday 25 August and at 06.27 on Monday 26 August. The last train from Willesden Junction will be at 22.56 on both days. The first train from Stratford will be at 09.05 on Sunday 25 August and at 06.50 on Monday 26 August. The last train from Stratford will be at 22.45 on both days.
There will be no train service between Richmond and Willesden Junction on either Sunday 25 August or Monday 26 August. Between Richmond and Gunnersbury customers should use the District Line. Rail replacement buses will operate between Gunnersbury and Willesden Junction, calling at all stations, every 15 minutes from 08.30 until 23.30 on Sunday 25 August and from 06.00 until 23.30 on Monday 26 August.
There will be no London Overground train service between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction. Addition rail replacement buses will operate between Clapham Junction and Shepherd’s Bush every 10 minutes from 07.30 to 23.30 on Sunday 25 August and from 06.00 to 23.30 on Monday 26 August.
Rail replacement buses will operate between Shepherd’s Bush and Willesden Junction every 15 minutes from 07.30 to 23.30 on Sunday 25 August and from 06.00 to 23.30 on Monday 26 August.
Watford Junction to Euston route
The normal service will operate on both days.
Gospel Oak to Barking route
There will be no train service between Gospel Oak and Barking on either Sunday 25 August or Monday 26 August.
Rail replacement buses will operate between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham, calling at all stations, every 15 minutes from 08.30 until 23.00 on Sunday 25 August and from 06.00 to 23.20 on Monday 26 August.
Rail replacement buses will operate between South Tottenham and Barking, calling at all stations, every 15 minutes from 08.30 until 23.00 on Sunday 25 August and from 06.00 to 23.20 on Monday 26 August.
Highbury & Islington to New Cross/Crystal Palace/ West Croydon and Clapham Junction routes
Sunday 25 August
Due to planned engineering works, there will be no train service on Sunday 25 August between Highbury & Islington and Shadwell or between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Rail replacement buses will operate between Canada Water and Clapham Junction, calling at all stations, every 30 minutes from 07.00 until 23.30. Between Shadwell and West Croydon train services will operate every 15 minutes. Between Shadwell and Crystal Palace train services will operate every 15 minutes. Between Shadwell and New Cross train services will operate every 15 minutes.
Monday 26 August
The normal timetabled service will operate on both days. London Overground operates a Saturday service on Bank Holidays.