The Central Line will be out of action for all of Friday.
Here’s an October surprise for you: the ASLEF union have announced that their tube drivers will stage a strike this coming Friday, October 5th, essentially bringing the Central Line to a grinding halt. Following hot on the heels of last week’s Piccadilly Line strike, the Central Line strike is set to knock out the whole line – although there’s a slight chance that trains will run at the western and eastern fringes of the network.
Friday’s strike will affect everyone: morning commuters, tourists looking for Oxford Street, and revellers hoping to crawl home on the Night Tube. ASLEF spokesman Finn Brennan stated that “‘industrial action is always the last resort but, given the intransigence of management on a whole range of issues affecting our members, we have, reluctantly, decided this is our only course of action”.
ASLEF’s concerns stem from what they argue are abuses of attendance and disciplinary procedures, and the implementation of unsafe working practices. All of which have contributed, they say, to “a climate of fear on the Central line” (words more commonly used to describe Bank station). At the time of writing, there has been no response from Underground bosses.
If the frosty relationship between unions and the underground continues, it won’t be the last Central Line strike. Friday’s upheaval is set to be joined by a second walkout on November 7th. There’s still time for the two sides to sit down and work out their disagreements, but with less than three days to go, you’d be wise to look into alternative routes. Keep an eye on TfL’s Travel Alerts Twitter page for updates, and maybe look forward to a day of working from home?