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Newham business leaders hoping for minimal impact over tube strikes

Union workers will strike from this coming Tuesday (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Union workers will strike from this coming Tuesday (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Friday, January 31, 2014
7:15 PM

Next week’s tube strikes could have a severe impact upon the borough’s trading but Newham’s business leaders are staying optimistic.

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Members of the RMT and TSSA unions will walk-out on Tuesday night until Friday morning, with a repeat scheduled for the following week.

However John James, executive secretary of Newham Chamber of Commerce, insists the borough’s national rail links allow alternative arrangements to be easily be made.

“During the Olympics, local businesses had to adapt and some staff worked from home,” he said.

“Others drove or cycled to work and working hours were made more flexible.

“A couple of days should not make a major impact – local shops may even benefit with stay-at-home staff.”

The interrupted service on the Central, District, Hammersmith and City, and Jubilee tube lines will affect workers as and shoppers in Newham although Overground and DLR lines will remain open.

The strike is part of a dispute over tick office closures.

Transport for London (TfL) plans to shut all 260 ticket offices by 2015 as part of a modernisation project, which also includes making some lines run around the clock at weekends.

But Andrew Norton, manager of the Stratford Centre hopes the strikes won’t affect business too much.

He said: “Up to 90,000 people a day visit the Stratford Centre and many of them take the tube. “While these strikes are always a pain, our customers are a determined bunch and I am sure we will still be busy.”

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