London split as Tube strikes begin
PUBLISHED: 21:00 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 06:59 05 February 2014
The Tube strikes are getting underway across London tonight, grinding the capital’s transport network to a halt, but people are divided over whether the unions are right to stage the 48-hour walkout.
The Prime Minister tweeted this afternoon: “Bob Crow’s Tube strike is shameful, bringing misery to millions of Londoners. Ed Miliband should condemn it now: no ‘ifs’ and no ‘buts’.”
But there is plenty of support for the striking workers, with @CockneyRebel tweeting: “(I) support tube workers’ strike, they are standing up for passenger safety, ie you and me.”
And the RMT have compiled a number of supportive messages of solidarity ahead of the industrial action, with writer and journalist Andrew Collins tweeting: “Before Londoners moan about the Tube strike, imagine ticket offices with nobody working in them and think of 953 redundancies. Then moan.”
User @NangcyP said: “I totally understand why the tube workers are going on strike, and I don’t care that Bob Crow went to Brazil last week.”
But there is plenty of anger around, with David O’Neill writing: “Can anyone give me a legitimate defence of the Tube strike? Ticket offices are antiquated.
“The equivalent of having lift attendants in 2013.”
Scott Handcock wrote: “So, thanks to the Tube strike, 90 per cent of my meetings in London tomorrow have now been cancelled... Bah!”, and Laura Copsey added: “I cross London Hammersmith - Shoreditch and back every day. This tube strike is going to make the next couple of weeks so much fun #naaaat.”
Some were seeing the upsides, with @AsantiTM writing: “No college until 3:45pm tomorrow! Thank you tube strike.”
It also throws up a conundrum for those who support the strikers, but still need to get to work, with one person tweeting: “Fellow lefties: If I catch a tube during the tube strike I’m crossing a picket line right?”
And highlighting how it affects people in different ways, @jennylandreth tweeted: “Neighbour: I’m furious about tube strike. Me: Did you have plans? N: No. But my cleaner can’t get here. Me: *expresses rage via tweet*.”
Some were seeing the humour in the implied chaos the strike will create, with @TechnicallyRon tweeting: “PREPARE THE ANTI TUBE STRIKE COMMUTE CANNON. I SHALL FIRE MYSELF AT WORK AND SAVE THOUSANDS. HEAR THAT @MayorofLondon.”
London is no stranger to Tube strikes over the years, and nor are Londoners attempts to find alternative transport, with none more ingenious than those in this video from 1962.
To ease the pain tonight and tomorrow you could play Tube Strike Bingo, check which stage of Tube strike misery you are in, or follow this handy list of Twitter accounts tweeting about London transport to help you on your way.
And if you plan to brave the Tube tomorrow check out this handy map of what lines are actually running, you could grab a lift on London Liftshare, or get involved with #BikeTheStrike and find out how best to cycle to work.
But remember to keep up to date with all the latest on the #TubeStrike on London24.