Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TUBE MAYHEM; Chaos and Overcrowding as 'Safety' Strike Hits Londonwalkout Goes Ahead despite Bosses' Offer of More jobsStrike Is Completely Unnecessarysays Khan as 4m Battle into City

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TUBE MAYHEM; Chaos and Overcrowding as 'Safety' Strike Hits Londonwalkout Goes Ahead despite Bosses' Offer of More jobsStrike Is Completely Unnecessarysays Khan as 4m Battle into City

Article excerpt

Byline: Dick Murray, Pippa Crerar, Joe Murphy and Nicholas Cecil

STRIKING Tube workers today brought chaos to the capital despite London Underground agreeing to demands to create hundreds more jobs at salaries of up to PS45,000.

While union leaders claimed they were striking in the name of "safety", there were frightening scenes as crowds fought to get on to limited services, trains and buses.

The morning of mayhem came despite a series of measures from Tube bosses to ease the staffing crisis. Clapham Junction was evacuated temporarily at the height of the peak period as serious overcrowding caused safety concerns. Across the city roads were gridlocked and queues formed for trains.

At Liverpool Street, Simon Johnson, 47, said: "It's dangerous. It's every man for himself. I'm considering ringing my boss asking if he really wants me to come in and run a team today. It's chaos." Cyclist Simon Quantrill, who lives in Clapham, said: "It is really scary out there. Cyclists are taking huge chances. The traffic is mad, the whole way up -- especially around London Bridge and onwards."

Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan Continued on Page 4 Overcrowded station evacuated and unions accused of 'endangering lives' Continued from Page 1 condemned the 24-hour strike, called by the RMT and TSSA unions, branding it "completely unnecessary".

More than four million Tube users were left struggling to get to work and school as the Left-wing unions combined forces to bring the network to a halt, costing the capital millions in lost trade. Publishing editor Catherine Allison, 25, was trying to reach Shepherd's Bush station when she was caught up in crowds at Clapham Junction, the capital's biggest interchange."There was complete gridlock in the station as they weren't letting passengers enter platforms from the underpass," said Miss Allison, who said it took 15 minutes just to get out.

"There was a huge queue in the overhead walkway. I was queuing for 40 minutes to get to my platform, then they announced the entire station was being evacuated 'for passenger safety due to overcrowding'."

Today's misery was at the start of a week of strikes, with three days of walkouts set to halt all Southern rail services tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday and a 48-hour strike by British Airways cabin crew cancelling some flights from Heathrow tomorrow and Wednesday. RMT union leader Mick Cash said the Tube strike was justified because so many jobs had been axed that it had been reduced to an "understaffed-death trap".

But London Underground said it had responded to the union concerns by offering new jobs. Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer, maintained there was "no need to strike" because he had agreed with the unions that more staff were needed on stations. …

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