Huge queues for Uber boat as train strikes bring London to a standstill
Londoners have being spotted in large queues for the Uber Boat service which runs along the River Thames in absence of a large number of train and Tube services across the capital today. With at least 40,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members expected to strike this week after talks broke down between Network Rail, train operators and the London Underground, Londoners will struggle to travel more than 10 minutes from their front door this Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (June 21, 23 and 25).
London buses have also become overwhelmed by the amount of passengers, while Uber prices are predicted to surge due to the vastly reduced public transport services on offer for residents and tourists alike. The RMT said members are striking over job cuts and below-inflation pay rises, as it was revealed the Government slashed funding for National Rail and Transport for London.
Without the vast majority of train and Tube routes due to strikes all across the country, commuters have got creative this morning, with many deciding to travel by boat along the River Thames. The Uber Thames Clippers boat service is a river bus service operating between East and Central London. Normally, they transport around 10,000 passengers every day, with numbers set to be much higher this week as a result of industrial action.
READ MORE: London stations that won’t have any trains running at all on June 21, 23 and 25
We are covering this week’s train strike live. Follow our coverage here.
With many people queueing for Uber boat services and London buses while others choose to work from home if they can, angry commuters have hit out at striking rail workers, while some people are heavily supportive of their cause. Susan Millson, 69, from Clapham, said the rail strikes are “outrageous” and “awful” as she was forced to cancel a her trip to East Grinstead to see her sister for the day.
Speaking to the PA news agency at Clapham Junction station, Ms Millson said she had hoped that a train to East Grinstead might be running so she came to the station only to discover the services had been affected by the industrial action. Asked if she would find an alternative means of travel, she said: “It’s not worth it.”
Meanwhile electrical engineer Harry Charles said his normal 10-minute journey to work by train to London Bridge took him 90 minutes. The 30-year-old, from Lewisham, said: “Obviously I had to wake up early and left my house at 6am.
“I am with the employees who are striking because their money is not going up and the cost of everything is rising. The strike has caused a lot of hassle for people but everyone wants to be able to eat.”
Despite thousands of trains up and down the country being cancelled, one trade union insider said that the strikes were “failing to have a major impact at Britain’s third-busiest station as a number of lines kept running”. At Liverpool Street, commuters flooded off Overground trains from Chingford and Enfield Town approximately every half an hour, most of them heading to the Central and Elizabeth lines.
The union source said: “I think it’s been more minor inconvenience than straight direct impact.” A Pret a Manger, a Pure, and the International Cheese shop all remained closed, while The Savanna, a grocer’s, left a notice apologising to customers for keeping its shutters up at the station.
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I’m Sam, a News Reporter at MyLondon with a special interest in covering court and crime. I started in September 2021, and I’m based in Ealing. You can follow my Facebook page here.
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