As Londoners and transport staff refuse to let strike stop the city 11 June 2009. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and his Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, have thanked Londoners and transport staff for the spirit and determination they showed in keeping London moving during this week’s strike called by the RMT leadership.
Despite the RMT’s intention to force a total shutdown of the network, many thousands of London Underground staff came to work and services operated on nine out of 11 LU lines on both Wednesday and Thursday.
With 100 extra buses on the network and extra staff at rail and Tube stations to hand out maps and offer advice, Londoners took the opportunity to try out a range of travel options made available by the Mayor and TfL. Since the strike began:
• On Thursday, more than 160 Tube trains operated, more than a third of the usual service
• London Cycling Campaign estimates that bike use may have trebled to as much as 1.5 million journeys • 10,000 people took advantage of the free shuttle boat service between the Tower of London, Westminster and the London Eye
• Over 1m people used the TfL website for travel information.
Boris Johnson said: “I salute the grit, determination and spirit shown by all Londoners and transport staff in keeping London moving during this completely unnecessary strike action. They have shown that a strike will not bring the city to a halt.”
Nearly 60,000 football fans were transported safely to and from Wembley for England’s match against Andorra on Wednesday night, thanks to close cooperation between TfL, the police, Brent Council, the FA and Wembley stadium.
Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, said: “I want to thank all of our hard-working staff who came to work yesterday and today and who have kept London moving. There has been a massive effort by the buses, together with a raft of cycling and other initiatives laid on this week, to enable Londoners to get around the city."
LU Interim Managing Director, Richard Parry said: “The hard work of many thousands of Tube staff has meant we have been able to run services on nine out of the 11 London Underground lines, or more than a third of our normal service. They deserve our thanks.”
In addition to running services across the Tube network, a range of transport alternatives were made available to Londoners:
• 100 extra buses were out on the network, with staff helping passengers outside rail termini and interchanges.
• On National Rail services Oyster Pay As You Go was accepted on alternative routes.
• Taxi drivers operated a marshalled, fixed-fare shared taxi service for central London destinations at six major London rail termini – Waterloo, Liverpool St, London Bridge, Marylebone, Paddington and Euston
• On roads TfL suspended works on major roads where possible.
• Additional options for cyclists have included temporary parking facilities and thousands of cycle maps distributed across London.
• Those walking around the city were provided with local vicinity walking map from staff at major rail stations, bus stations and key Tube stations.
• River services were boosted from a capacity of 1,500 to 8,000 an hour, with an additional free shuttle service from London Bridge to Tower Bridge.