London Tube strike starts this evening as Mayor Boris Johnson pleads with unions to back down

Little prospect of last-minute resolution as Tube unions prepare to strike for a third time in 2010

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson has promised the capital will keep moving despite the 24-hour Tube strike set to start this evening.

The Mayor says the third walkout of this year by London Underground workers is pointless and counter-productive.

Around 11,000 members of the RMT and TSSA unions are taking industrial action, with maintenance workers walking out at 7pm and operational staff striking from 9pm.

Despite Boris’ assurances, there is certain to be disruption on large parts of the network, with severe delays and closed stations continuing until Thursday morning.

The Mayor of London said: “Londoners have shown that they will not be deterred from their daily business by these pointless strikes.

“The action of the union leaderships may cause some inconvenience but we are determined to keep the Capital moving by providing a plethora of alternatives so that people can get around.

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“Whether by bus, boat or bike when Londoners beat the strike for a third time I hope the RMT and TSSA leaderships will face facts and see that their action achieves nothing aside from depriving their members of another day’s pay.”

Transport for London says more than 100 extra buses will be in operation and 10,000 extra journeys can be made on the River Thames.

In Canary Wharf, volunteers will be on hand to guide commuters towards the pier and extra bike stations will be in use in Cabot Square for those resorting to two wheels.

This is the third of four planned strikes by union members, with the final one of 2010 planned to start on November 28.

Workers are angry at 800 planned job cuts affecting staff in ticket offices, which they claim will affect passenger and staff safety.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow says a resolution can still be found as long as London Underground drops its proposals.

“Far from keeping his word, the Mayor now has more than 2,000 Tube jobs in his sights,” said Crow. “He now has a choice. He can either be remembered for devastating Tube safety and the fabric of the network or he can work with us to defend it.”