Commuters face day of disruption amid subway strike
LONDON (AP) — Commuters faced a day of disruption Thursday after a strike shut down the London Underground system for the second time this summer.
Union members walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven’t been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. Transport officials say they’ve offered a salary increase and bonuses to compensate for the changes.
Stations on the subway, known as the Tube, will be closed all day Thursday. Extra buses were put into service.
Roads were gridlocked by commuters getting to the office by car, but disruptions were not as bad as during the strike in July because many people were on vacation.
At 8.45 a.m. there were 428 separate traffic jams and 197 miles (317 kilometers) of tailbacks, according to traffic experts at TomTom. Last month, there were 1,445 jams and 761 miles of tailbacks.
Transport officials are usually able to keep a few lines running during Tube strikes. But drivers have been united in staying off the job in recent strikes, forcing management to shut down the system altogether.
Thursday’s shutdown forced many commuters to find other ways to get to work. John Teixeira, 24, a civil servant, rented a bike — and needed 90 minutes to get to the office for what is normally a 15-minute journey.
And when he got near the office, he discovered he needed to wait again.
“There’s no space to park your bike, which is a big shame,” he said.