LONDON Feb 5Millions of commuters in London
faced travel chaos on Wednesday on the first full day of a
48-hour tube strike by London Underground staff over planned job
cuts and the closure of ticket offices.
Staff from the two main unions began the first of two
planned 48-hour strikes late Tuesday evening and by rush hour on
Wednesday commuters faced long waiting times for over-crowded
buses and trains as strong winds battered Britain's capital.
The world's oldest and largest underground rail network,
which carries over three million passengers a day, will run very
limited services until Thursday evening.
Many people were unable to get into work despite extra buses
being put into in service, while others resorted to jogging and
cycling to avoid the gridlocked roads. Commuters on packed train
platforms posted photos on Twitter of the chaos.
Lauren Sweeney, a legal PA, said it would take an extra 30
minutes on top of her usual one hour journey to get from her
home in Hornchurch in east London to her office near Liverpool
Street in the city of London.
"It's a hassle. Everyone has been talking about how they are
going to get in to work for days," Sweeney, 26, told Reuters.
"It is pain but on this one I can understand why they are
striking," she added.
The RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association
(TSSA) unions called the strike to protest against London
Underground's plans to cut up to 1,000 job and close ticket
offices as part of its modernisation of the network.
A second 48-hour strike is planned for next week from Feb.
11 to Feb. 14.
(Reporting by Julia Fioretti, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)