London Underground bosses have said they are doing “everything we can” to keep the capital moving during strike action by RMT and TSSA members.
A 24-hour strike by maintenance staff began at 7pm Tuesday with station staff, drivers and signalling staff striking from 9pm.
The strikes are the third to take place over plans to reduce opening hours at ticket offices, a move Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Transport for London say is needed because of the success of Oyster has seen a decline in the demand for the offices.
LU say “over forty per cent” of Tubes are running this morning, more than during previous strikes. Earlier this week passengers were warned that full services will not be resumed until Thursday morning.
During 2008′s Mayoral elections Mayor Johnson opposed a similar proposal from then-Mayor Ken Livingstone, signing a petition against cuts to ticket offices and making a manifesto pledge to “stop the planned ticket office closures”.
However earlier this year Transport for London unveiled similar plans to those previously condemned by the Mayor, leading to unions and political opponents accusing him of breaking a commitment to Londoners.
On Tuesday, the RMT said it expected in excess of 80 stations to be closed during the strike and General Secretary Bob Crow called on TfL to “face up to the reality that this latest action will have a widespread and serious impact as 11,000 tube staff stand firm in their fight for safety and safe staffing levels.”
In a statement issued Wednesday morning, LU Managing Director Mike Brown said TfL were working “to keep as many Tube services as possible operating today” as well as providing additional buses.
Talking of the impact of the action on passengers, Brown said: “Londoners will face some disruption, but over 40 per cent of Tube trains are running with services on all but one line, meaning that the city is not paralysed and people are able to get around.”
TfL is advising passengers to check for potential disruption and delays before travelling by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk