London Tube Strike Sends Commuters to Streets, Grounds Traffic

© AFP 2022 / NIKLAS HALLE'N Protesters from the ASLEF and RMT unions stand at the locked gates of Brixton underground station during a tube strike in London on July 9, 2015
Protesters from the ASLEF and RMT unions stand at the locked gates of Brixton underground station during a tube strike in London on July 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The UK capital's rail and subway service began its 24-hour strike Wednesday evening, bringing some 20,000 public transportation workers following the London Underground’s (LU) decision to introduce select night and weekend services in September.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – London traffic has ground to a halt as an underground rail network strike forced millions to use other modes of transportation, British media reported Thursday.

Morning footage broadcast across British media platforms displayed commuters lining up to board buses, and traffic lanes experiencing delays in the city’s busiest streets.

Transport of London (TfL) has deployed an extra 200 buses and additional river services as the "tube" stations stood empty. Witnesses reported scuffles breaking out over seats and drivers refusing to move due to overcrowding.

The online taxi service Uber, meanwhile, has been accused of tripling its fares due to increased demand in the wake of the strike.

Overground, TfL Rail and Docklands Light Railway are running as normal, but report heavy crowds.

Other commuters took to the citywide bicycle sharing system, walking or chose to stay at home entirely to weather the chaos on the streets.

Union workers’ walkout over the labor dispute has been described by officials as "unnecessary." LU’s chief operating officer criticized the strike and said nighttime services would "make life easier for everyone, cut journey times, create jobs and boost the economy."

"We want to reward our staff for its delivery and have been open and transparent in our negotiations with the trade unions – but unfortunately they have failed to engage," Steve Griffiths said in TfL’s press release.

LU’s 11 lines serve 270 stations and transport over a billion passengers annually, according to TfL’s website.

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