London is set to suffer the effects of another major strike on Underground network, with members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walking out at 9pm this evening (Wednesday).
There are to be no services running on the Piccadilly Line for 24 hours, causing severe disruption on what is usually one of the busiest lines on the tube network. The line has links to Heathrow Airport which could well result in those flying from the airport facing disruption, with the Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express services from London Paddington expected to be a lot busier than usual.
The strike from the RMT comes after a prolonged period of industrial problems on the Piccadilly Line. The union has claimed that these problems are linked to “serious underlying issues” with the age of the trains, with TfL taking no steps to replace those trains which are no longer fit to work efficiently.
Union bosses have cited “the hostile and aggressive attitude” of senior London Underground figures as the reason for the action taking place.
General secretary of RMT, Mick Cash, said: “The hostile and aggressive attitude by Tube bosses has collapsed the normal negotiating process and as a result they are wholly to blame for the fact that the strike action goes ahead.
“The wholesale abuse of procedures and agreements by management of the Piccadilly Line is rife and amounts to the development of a campaign of bullying, harassment and intimidation that the union will not allow to continue.”
TfL has confirmed that there will be no services running on the Piccadilly Line at all from late evening tonight and all day tomorrow if the strike goes ahead.
Operations director of London Underground, Pat Hansberry, advised customers to check real-time travel tools to plan alternative journey routes.
He also said: “This indefensible strike has been called to protect drivers who refused to drive Piccadilly Line trains on their shifts – without good reason – resulting in delays to our customers.
“That said, we remain available for talks and are keen for the union leaderships to engage with us, so that Londoners aren’t subjected to unnecessary disruption.”