Londoners are set for more severe disruption on the rail network on Wednesday with the second day of a 48 hour strike which caused misery for commuters on Tuesday.
Around half of trains nationally did not run as the strike began on Tuesday while the same impact is expected on Wednesday as around 40,000 members of the RMT union at Network Rail and 14 train companies walk out as part of a long-running row over jobs, pay and conditions.
Network Rail said only about 20 per cent of services were running on Tuesday where trains did run— 4,000 rather than 20,000 trains. Southeastern had no trains in or out of Charing Cross or Victoria.
South Western Railway was only able to run four of its routes into Waterloo, and at reduced frequencies.
There was widespread impact elsewhere and similar disruption is expected on Wednesday.
Figures from location technology firm TomTom showed the level of road congestion in London was considerably higher than the same time last week as people were forced to take to the roads in icy conditions.
It comes as union leader Mick Lynch said that while he continues to be an “optimist” there is currently “no deal in sight” as the country faces a month of rail disruption.
The RMT is pressing ahead with another 48-hour strikes from Friday, with an overtime ban and more walkouts in January meaning disruption is set to continue into the new year.
Mr Lynch apologised for the disruption caused to members of the public and hospitality businesses but pointed out that many people affected will be facing similar problems in their jobs.
Asked if the public can expect more strikes in 2023, he said: “Well, we hope not. We want to get a deal but at the moment, there is no deal in sight.
“So we’ve got the schedule down at the moment, which is running for the next four weeks.
“We will review that at the end of that if there’s no settlement on the table and we’ll decide what our next steps are, but at the moment there is no settlement to be had.”
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls said the latest series of strikes in the run up to Christmas “will no doubt be the toughest yet” as footfall in shopping streets across the capital and nationwide were severely reduced.
“Businesses, workers and our customers will feel the brunt of it, with lost business, disrupted travel and plans being cancelled,” she added.
Earlier Transport Secretary Mark Harper accused the RMT of wrecking Christmas for families, telling GB News: “These rail strikes are going to force some families to have another virtual Christmas. That is terrible when the unions have had a very reasonable pay offer.”
empty platforms at Paddington