Overcrowded buses and closed tube stations create nightmare commute for London’s workforce
Transport for London’s (TfL) Tube staff are striking due to over 800 jobs cuts, ticket office closures, and negative treatment from passengers throughout the capital.
The 24 hour strike, which began at 6pm on Sunday 8 January, has crippled London’s transport lines.
Images from social media accounts display scenes reminiscent of apocalypse-themed movies, with human congestion outside of tube stations and bus stops resembling a mass exodus.
While TfL advised customers last week of severely limited services, it seems as if no amount of forewarning and preplanning has prepared the city’s workforce for the level of mayhem the strike has inflicted.
The Twittersphere is ablaze with running commentary from travelers, whose thoughts on the situation populate the full spectrum from outrage to humor.
Commuters also share their opinions as to whether the strike is warranted, with some citing severe criticism concerning TfL staff wages.
Regardless of delays and journey times of up to four hours however, other Twitter users voiced their solidarity for tube employees and their working conditions.
While Sunday’s walk-out has rendered obvious and immediate negative consequences for passengers, business representatives envision even graver ramifications from a financial perspective.
Experts contend that this breakdown in public transport infrastructure could cost London’s economy up to £300 million.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Colin Stanbridge fears that “For so many businesses in central London, including our shops, restaurants and tourist destinations, not having stations in Zone 1 open is a disaster.
“We need to be strengthening London at a time of Brexit uncertainty, not weakening it with multiple strike action.”
However, General Secretary Mick Cash for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (commonly referred to as RMT), issued a passionate statement on behalf of staff working in the London Underground:
“Our members are out in force across London Underground this morning in the fight for jobs and safety. The strike action is being solidly supported on every line, at every station and on picket lines right across the Tube network.
“This action has been forced on us by savage cuts to jobs that have reduced London Underground to an under-staffed death trap at a time of heightened security and safety alert.”
He also issued voracious criticism towards TfL representatives as to being forthcoming about the scope of the walk-out:
“It does no one any favours for TFL to openly lie about how many Tube services are running. It just piles more people into stations that are already dangerously over crowded and ramps up the risk of a major crushing incident.
“TFL should stop peddling their fantasy world of services that are operating when the truth is that London is on an almost total shutdown.
While the strike is scheduled to finish at 6pm Monday 9 January, warnings have also been issued that commuters will still face overpopulated conditions and limited services.