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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
May Day protests hit commuters
Cyclists demonstration
Cyclists brought morning rush hour traffic to a standstill
Motorists and tube travellers are experiencing severe delays as the May Day protests bring parts of central London to a standstill.

Protesters are causing serious disruption at Oxford Circus - on London's main shopping street - and it and all approaches are totally blocked to traffic.

There is no access to the area between Marylebone Road and Oxford Street, causing problems on the Marylebone Road.

However, the traffic is lighter than usual and many motorists are thought to be avoiding the area.

Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus tube stations are closed and all bus routes in the City and West End are subject to delay, short-notice diversion and disruption.

'Warnings worked'

The buses which usually use Oxford Street have been diverted and those which rely on the temporarily closed Westminster Bridge have been suspended.

Oxford Street
No traffic allowed on the usually busy Oxford Street
Police have also closed the Trafalgar Square entrance to Charing Cross station and the roads around it triggering nearby traffic jams.

The Automobile Association said warnings about expected May Day disruption kept many motorists off the road.

"Main routes into the capital have stayed quiet all day," said an AA spokesman.

In an unrelated incident, a non-passenger train crashed into the barriers at Charing Cross main line station at 0440 BST forcing trains to be diverted to Cannon Street and Victoria stations, while other trains terminated at London Bridge.

Euston Square and Great Portland Street underground stations were closed for 30 minutes during a morning demonstration by about 600 cyclists.

British Transport Police have been posted at all main stations in case of disruption by protesters.

But London Underground told BBC News Online there had been little disruption during the day.

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