Tube strikes: When is the London Underground industrial action?

·4 min read
A tube station closed by strikes in June (Getty Images)
A tube station closed by strikes in June (Getty Images)

This week sees a run of transport worker strikes disrupting journeys across the UK.

As well as two strikes by RMT Union members working for Network Rail and numerous train companies, cutting off swathes of the UK rail network on 18 and 20 August, a Tube strike has also been scheduled.

On a further two days this week, London bus drivers in the United union will walk out, compounding the travel chaos in the capital.

So which days of this week are affected, and how much of the capital’s transport network is due to shut down?

Which day is the Tube strike?

The Tube strike is on Friday 19 August. Members of the RMT Union working for London Underground will walk out for 24 hours because of an ongoing dispute over jobs and pensions. Around 10,000 Tube workers and 400 Overground workers are expected to go on strike, causing major disruption to TfL’s network.

To make things more confusing, London Overground workers employed by Arriva Rail London will stage a separate walkout on the same day, while bus drivers working for United London will also strike on the same day, as well as the following day (20 August).

Which lines are expected to be affected?

All Tube lines are expected to be affected. During the last London Tube strike, a few lines or sections of lines ran a reduced service, with trains stopping every 15-20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, whole lines and branches of lines were either closed or part-suspended.

The whole Overground network is expected to be disrupted, too, with lines either running sparsely or not at all.

TfL is urging Tube users to plan their journey using alternative modes of transport. You’ll be able to see which lines are open or part-open on the day using the status updates section of the TfL website.

Is it just the Underground that is affected?

No. London trams will see a reduced service, while the DLR will have services into Bank running 07.00-18.30 only.

Due to the separate bus driver strike on 19 and 20 August, the following routes will see cancellations and disruption: 18, 33, 49, 65, 70, 71, 72, 85, 94, 105, 110, 116, 117, 148, 203, 211, 216, 220, 223, 224, 235, 258, 265, 266, 272, 281, 283, 290, 293, 371, 404, 406, 411, 418, 419, 423, 440, 465, 467, 470, 481, C1, E1, E3, H17, H22, H32, H37, H91, H98, K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, N9, N18, N33, N65, N72, N266 and S3.

Due to the railway strikes the previous day, National Rail services will also be late to start, with some disruption expected until mid-morning.

When will services resume?

The official restart time for the Tube network is 8am on Saturday, 20 August, but realistically there will be some knock-on disruption into Saturday morning.

Be aware that the days either side, 18 and 20 August, see UK-wide rail strikes by RMT Union members. These mainly affect regional services going into and out of London, but also the London Overground (reduced service between 08.00 and 18.00); Elizabeth Line (reduced service); District line (No service between Wimbledon and Parson’s Green, and Richmond and Turnham Green before 08.00 and after 18.00) and Bakerloo Line (No service north of Queen’s Park).

What has TfL said?

For Tube services on Friday 19 August, TfL says there will be “severe disruption on all lines. Little to no services throughout the day. No Night Tube.”

“Avoid travel on the Tube if possible and only travel on the rest of the network if essential,” it adds.

“If you need to travel, river services, London Cable Car and Santander Cycles will be available to help you get around.” It also reminds visitors that much of Zone 1 London is walkable.

Why are the Tube workers going on strike?

The RMT Union says the industrial action is due to “an ongoing dispute over pensions and jobs”.

It says: “LUL [London Underground Limited] and TfL management have consistently refused to engage in discussions around safeguarding jobs, pensions and conditions on the spurious grounds that they are unable to give any assurances to our members until they have a financial settlement with the government.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members will once again take to picket lines in this important dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions.

“They have been messed around by TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan. And to add insult to injury they have not seen the detail of this funding letter from government.

“Unless there can be assurances made about jobs, pensions and detrimental changes to working conditions, then our strike on 19 August will go ahead.”

London Overground workers employed by Arriva Rail London are striking over what they say is stagnant pay against the rising cost of living.