London Tube Strike Could Affect Millions Of Commuters, Tourists

A planned London Tube strike is expected to affect millions of commuters and tourists through Friday morning. Although the DLR, London Overground, and London Rail will operate on their regular schedules, they are simply not equipped to handle the overflow.

Transport for London confirmed the London Tube strike will begin at 18:30 BST – and last 24 hours.

As reported by BBC, commuters and tourists are encouraged to take advantage of alternate transportation, including rented bicycles, buses, cable cars, coach services, overground trains, and taxis.

Transport for London published several guides to help residents and guests reach their destination. Their website also includes status updates, a journey planning application — which includes estimated travel time — and the ability to receive updates via email and social media.

In anticipation of the strike, transportation providers have added extra vehicles to their routes. However, commuters are encourage to either leave early or work from home – as all services are likely to be “exceptionally busy.”

In addition to the usual rush-hour commuters, the strike affected thousands of fans, who were traveling to the Chelsea v Fiorentina match Wednesday evening.

The London Tube strike was sparked by a heated debate between union leaders and London Underground officials.

As reported by Yahoo, the London Underground plans to extend their schedule to include 24 hour service on Fridays and Saturdays — beginning in September.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the extended hours will benefit the “working people of London” who work unusual shifts.

According to Johnson, London Underground workers were offered “generous” compensation for the planned schedule change.

In an official statement, London Underground confirmed all workers were offered a 2 percent increase in income for the next three years. The proposed contract also includes bonuses for Night Tube staff, station staff, and drivers. As discussed in the statement, workers would not be required to work additional hours to accommodate the additional services.

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“Drivers will have the same number of weekends off as now and no one will be asked to work more hours than they do today. Everybody will remain entitled to two days off in seven.”

RMT union leader Mick Cash said the planned changes were “rushed and botched from the off,” and the decisions were not made in the best interest of the employees.

Under the advisement of their union leaders, London Underground workers have demanded a postponement of the extended services “until a deal can be reached about staff pay and work conditions.” To underline their point, the unions scheduled the 24 hour London Tube strike.

Although it will likely cause widespread travel disruptions, and inconvenience millions, the London Tube strike is expected to proceed as planned.

[Image via Oli Scarff/Getty Images]