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July’s Piccadilly line strike spells disruption for rail commuters

July’s Piccadilly line strike spells disruption for rail commuters

Rail commuting in the summer months comes with a number of its own challenges, not least the threat of train strikes. Those who use the London Underground’s Piccadilly line are set to face disruption in July as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union go on strike.

The industrial action is due to begin at 9pm on Wednesday, July 11th and if it is not resolved, will continue for four days up until 12.01am on Saturday, July 14th. Adding to the chaos, is the fact that 50,000 protestors are expected to descend on the capital to opposed the visit of US president Donald Trump on Friday, July 13th.

It comes as employees call for better working conditions and staffing. There’s a chance that the strike could be called off before July 11th if an agreement is reached between the two parties. More than half a million people use the Piccadilly line each day.

The official line from the RMT is that there is a “continued failure by London Underground to employ enough drivers, continued problems with the ageing Piccadilly line fleet and the repeated breaking of ‎agreements, which has tipped industrial relations over the edge”.

Many of them are commuting to and from work, while others are travelling out to Heathrow Airport or returning to central London. While Piccadilly is the only line expected to be directly affected by the strike, others will become congested as the passengers are displaced.

Official recommendations suggest planning an alternative route in advance and leaving more time to carry out a journey. Commuters can take the stress out of travelling by rail by opting to get into work via coach instead. Not only will they have a guaranteed seat, but the air-conditioned vehicles are even more tempting in the warmer months.

The Piccadilly line consists of 44 miles of track and runs between Cockfosters in the suburbs of north London and Acton Town in the west. At this point, it continues along two branch lines – one that goes to Heathrow and another that takes passengers to Uxbridge in the northwest of the capital.

Piccadilly is the fourth busiest line on the London Underground network and shares some of its stations with the District and Metropolitan lines. This means that many commuters use a small but vital section of the infrastructure as part of their daily journeys.

 

Photo credit: iStock/VictorHuang

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