South Western Railway tell passengers they will pay for them to go home by taxi as person is hit by train to bring extra disruption to network already hit by strikes
- Customers have been told to book their own taxis and claim back the cost online
- South Western Railway bosses said pre-booked taxis amid strike ‘didn’t show up’
- Millions face chaos after the biggest rail strike in a generation began this week
- RMT Union and railway bosses expected to hold talks today to resolve dispute
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South Western Railway customers have been told to book their own taxis and claim back the cost after a person was hit by a train which has brought further disruption to the network.
Commuters who struggled to get into work this morning now face problems trying to get home following the incident between Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.
London Air Ambulance has been spotted flying overhead near to the scene of the incident.
In a statement, South Western Railway said: ‘We have received reports that a person has been struck by a train between Wimbledon and Clapham Junction. Our response teams are working with the emergency services to assist with the incident.
Commuters who struggled to get into work this morning now face problems trying to get home following the incident between Wimbledon and Clapham Junction
‘In order to allow emergency services access to the railway all power to the track will need to be switched off in the affected area.
‘For further information please speak to a member of staff or use a station help point. We are very sorry for any delay that this may cause to your journey.’
Bosses also issued an apology for delays this morning which saw London’s busiest Tube stations still closed at 8am.
Huge queues formed outside seven Underground stations which were shuttered as late as 9.30am because of a lack of staff, while tempers flared at Paddington, Stratford, King’s Cross/St Pancras and more than a dozen other sites in all corners of the capital.
South Western Railway bosses said the late start was because of yesterday’s Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union strike action and the Network Rail infrastructure not being operational until 7am this morning.
The train operator was prepared for ongoing strike action and had pre-booked taxis to get passengers to their destination but have said that some ‘didn’t show up’, prompting them to urge customers to book taxi’s themselves.
In an earlier statement, they added: ‘With the tracks unavailable from 6.30pm last night, we also faced significant logistical challenges of getting people and trains in the right places to begin services today.
‘We pre-booked taxis to get onboard staff to their required starting positions, but unfortunately some didn’t show up due to the high demand in some areas. As a result, some first services were unable to run.’
Customers have taken to Twitter to share their frustrations.
‘No strike today, but there may as well be,’ one wrote. ‘Rail companies are running a reduced Sunday service.
‘Who or what is this joke of a government going to blame today, the 1978 Labour government?’
An estimated 50,000 members of RMT at Network Rail and 13 other train operators are striking over the course of three-days over pay.
The biggest strikes in 30 years have forced millions of people to WFH again for the second day in a row as RMT general secretary Mick Lynch attempts to bring Britain to its knees.
Traffic was as heavy as yesterday because more people had to use their cars. There were 2,046 traffic jams in London this morning, covering a total length of 834 miles, and a 30-minute journey was taking an average of an hour, according to traffic data analyst TomTom.
The strikes have come at a dreadful time for the crippled hospitality sector, which has been struggling to get back on its feet after two years of Covid restrictions.
Experts believe the mass walkouts this week will cost the sector £540million alone, while UK Hospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls yesterday warned: ‘It’s a very fragile industry that cannot withstand this type of economic shock. For many businesses, this will push them closer towards the edge of viability.’
And in a move that could unleash yet more chaos for commuters, patients and students, Uber drivers have also threatened to join the mass walkouts.
It follows claims that National Rail and Lynch came within a ‘gnat’s whisker’ of striking a deal on Monday before the last-ditch talks collapsed.
Today is a 24-hour partial reprieve until the strikes resume tomorrow and again on Saturday. While the railway network is meant to be operational, commuters have been hit for the second day running.
STRATFORD: Chaos as passengers wait for the station to open in London, as train services continue to be disrupted following the nationwide strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union along with London Underground workers in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions
KING’S CROSS: Passengers arrive at King’s Cross station in London today on the second day of travel chaos
PADDINGTON STATION: Passengers arrive at Paddington Station in London today as Mick Lynch’s strikes paralyse Britain
The RMT will meet with National Rail and the train companies today in another attempt to break the deadlock.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the turnout at picket lines on Tuesday was ‘fantastic’ and had exceeded expectations in the union’s campaign for job security, defending conditions and a decent pay rise
‘Our members will continue the campaign and have shown outstanding unity in the pursuit of a settlement to this dispute,’ he said.
‘RMT members are leading the way for all workers in this country who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and Government policy.
‘Now is the time to stand up and fight for every single railway worker in this dispute that we will win.’
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: ‘These are desperately needed reforms that modernise the railway and put it on a sustainable footing for passengers and taxpayers.
‘Unions have shut down big parts of the rail network, hitting local businesses and unfairly cutting people off from hospitals, schools and work.
‘However, early data shows that unlike in the past, many people now have the opportunity to work from home, so we haven’t even a rush to the roads, as traffic has instead gone online, which means the unions aren’t having the overall impact they might have hoped.’