Talks to avert London tube strike fail

2017-01-07 22:19:43 GMT2017-01-08 06:19:43(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Talks aimed at averting a walkout by staff on London Underground broke up Saturday without a resolution, tens of thousands of commuters could be affected.

Although the 24-hour stoppage is set to start Sunday, disruption is expected in rush hours of Monday morning as it will run through the following day.

Most tube stations in central London and many interchange underground stations will close during the stoppage.

Hopes had been raised when both sides held conciliation talks to seek a breakthrough in a dispute over plans to cut station jobs and close station ticket offices.

But in a message to members of the transport union, RMT regional organiser John Leach said the talks had failed and the strike by his union would go ahead.

With around 4,000 staff involved in the stoppage, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he had instructed bosses at Transport for London (TfL) to work throughout the weekend to resolve the dispute.

"There is no reason for the unions to strike," Khan said on Saturday on his social media site.

TfL was advising passengers Saturday night that in the case of the strike going ahead, tube services will be severely reduced and some stations will close from Sunday evening until the end of service on Monday. The majority of stations in Zone 1, concentrated in and around central London, will be closed.

Although National Rail services will not be affected by this strike, there will be no underground services from key interchange stations in London such as Victoria, King's Cross St Pancras, Waterloo, Paddington, Euston, Bank and London Bridge, said TfL.

For passengers travelling to or from Heathrow airport, TfL plans to run Piccadilly line services between Hammersmith and Heathrow terminals 1, 2 and 3. Coach services will run to Heathrow Central Bus Station and Heathrow Terminals 4 and 5.

TfL has also produced a "walking map" for people deciding to make journeys on foot. And extra cycle hire stands will be brought in.

Nearly 5 million people travel on London Underground a day.