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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 00:58 GMT 01:58 UK
Tube network crippled by strike
Sign at Vauxhall Station informing passengers about the Tube strike
There is no service on nine lines
A "massive" strike by maintenance workers on London Underground (LU) has stopped all services on nine lines.

The RMT union started a 72-hour walkout at 1800 BST in a row over pensions and jobs after the collapse of Metronet.

LU said trains were being kept in depots during the industrial action and services might not return to normal until Friday morning.

Only the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are operating, because they are maintained by another firm.

Picket lines were mounted outside LU depots and there were large queues at bus stops as workers tried to get home.

LU's managing director Tim O'Toole told BBC News 24: "The strike is quite significant.

East London
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City

"It's massive because we're talking about the withdrawal of service on two-thirds of the network."

Another 72-hour stoppage is planned for next Monday.

On Monday, Unite and the TSSA said they would not go on strike after being given assurances.

But the TSSA said its 360 members would take part in the second planned 72-hour strike, if a matter concerning pensions was not resolved.

The unions have been seeking guarantees there will be no job losses, forced transfers or cuts in pensions as a result of Metronet's collapse in July, when it went into administration.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The efforts the mayor and Transport for London have put in to try to broker a deal have been welcome.

Queues at Vauxhall bus station
The only result will be that the lives of millions of Londoners are disrupted and RMT members will lose hundreds of pounds
LU's Tim O'Toole

"But the problem for all of us remains that Metronet and its administrator are the employer and the qualified assurances they have given cover only the period of administration."

Transport for London (TfL) said all three Tube unions had received all the assurances they were seeking and has released a letter it sent to Mr Crow which outlines those promises.

Mr O'Toole said: "RMT leaders have claimed that they have not received the assurances they requested from Metronet and the administrator regarding jobs, transfers and pensions.

"This is patently not true.

"The only result will be that the lives of millions of Londoners are disrupted and RMT members will lose hundreds of pounds."

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said on Monday night that the strike was one of the most "purposeless" ever called.

Striking RMT members will lobby the Department for Transport on Tuesday as part of the union's campaign for Tube maintenance work to be brought back inhouse.

Some of your comments:

Today it took me longer to get home from work than it takes to fly from New York to Heathrow... I am Central line dependant, with very limited "bus" experience, and "seeking alternative bus route" was proven a complete nightmare. However, I would very much like to thank the station assistants -- they were extremely helpful, and, surprisingly, there was quite a bit of good will amongst fellow travellers. The all-uniting abhorrence towards Metronet, I suppose...
Kateryna, London, UK

No problems at all - just made my way to the Northern Line, and home only a few minutes later than normal. I might stay using the Jubilee Line, at least I had room to breathe on the train, not like the Central Line that I usually use.
stuart baker, Milton Keynes

I work at Regents Park Open Air Theatre and our audience was half what it should have been, as no-one wanted to risk the journey home. May i suggest everyone travels to work by car, grits their teeth and pays the C-charge, and watch as the RMT struggles with lack of income from lost fares. If they treat us with such contempt, lets return the favour.
Fred Riding, Sutton

it takes me usually 1 and a half hours to get from uxbridge to Bond street and tonight its taken me 5 hours to get home after a 12hour shift it is absolutely ridiculous these people so not realise the seriousness of there actions they are behaving like spoilt little children
Ricky Bonner, Hayes Middlesex

Working in the city and living in Ealing made my commute a nightmare so I have come to stay with family in surrey to avoid at least 2 miserable journeys, of course I've had to buy toiletries and new clothes and waste my own money and time because of a strike I am feeling less and less sympathetic towards as time goes by.
Melanie McKay, London, UK

Almost affected but luckily caught the last train fortunately, after a late finish. I have been without work for 2 weeks I finally get a good weeks work and this happens. Frankly they would never survive on some of the wages out there. I have little sympathy. Once again the millions of workers get zilch info. The fares are disgusting enough...simply want to get to work, thanks !
Garry, London

I am flying into Heathrow this Thursday to begin postgraduate study in the UK. My boyfriend, who is English, and I have been waiting for this day when I would be in the UK semi-permanently for over two years! He was planning to meet me at Heathrow so we could take the train back to Norwich together. Now, because of this strike, there is no way to get from Norwich-Heathrow and back besides National Express bus, which costs 20 pounds more than a train (which is a lot on a student budget!) He would have to leave at 3am to meet me on time. Needless to say, for me, this strike has ruined a day two years in the making.
Sara, NY, USA

Its all well and good going on strike but what about all those like myself that have spent money on travel cards for the week and are unable to use them will we be refunded? Plus the 3 hours it has taken me to get home when it takes me 25 mins usually
Dan m, London

Tried to get home to Hillingdon area, but was completely unable to due to the Piccadilly line being half closed.

Was told it was only a temp problem and to wait around. I did, and it never got fixed, and later sounded like it was shut due to the strike action.

Ended up having to get a long string of buses home.

Staff seemed to not have a clue what was happening, and were not very helpful in terms of telling you what routes to get. There should've been a bigger staff presence helping people get home....with 2 and a half lines operating through the whole of london, would've expected a lot more.

Got home very late, tired, and annoyed.
Chris Papaioannou, Hillingdon

Yes. I am a Malaysian holidaying in London. Was at Tower of London today, and wanted to go back to my hotel at 8pm, but was told that the tube is not working. We got no choice but to take the bus. This really give bad impressions and inconvenience to the tourist.
Vivien Poh, Malaysia

So far - but it is early days...i haven't noticed much increased traffic in the Hammersmith/Fulham area of town - I was expecting chaos. I am cycling to work tomorrow.
Calum Mackay, London, UK

I work near Baker St and had to leave work at 4pm so I could get home. The station was packed and there were hardly any tubes running then. The tube I managed to get was the wrong line so I had to get a cab at the end of my journey. All in all a pretty awful journey home. At least I'm working from home tomorrow!
Ria, Middlesex

I work 2 miles from London Bridge and I run the distance, to and from work 5 day a week. Zero emissions, zero congestion, zero cost, zero dependence on bus or tubes and keeps me fit as a result, so I don't become overweight or have to pay for a gym. Perhaps more Londoners should consider travelling all or part of their commute on foot??
Roger, Bromley

it normally takes me around 30 minutes to get home by tube and today it took me 3 hours and 30 minutes!!

i left work at 6 and could only get on a bus at half 8 and even then it was jam packed with no room whatsoever. People who pressed the buzzer to get off were clearly being ignored as bus drivers avoided the busy bus stops. any time the bus stopped one person got out and 10 got on when there was clearly no room.

Safety has to be taken into consideration here and i did not feel safe at any stage during my 3 and a half hour epic journey which i will have to repeat all week and probably next week if this is not sorted out.
Manny, london

Mayor Ken Livingstone gives his opinion on the tube strikes


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