Center for London response to London Underground strikes

In response to this week’s tube strikes, Nick Bowes, chief executive of the Center for London, said:

“Most commuters won’t remember the last time strikes on trains and subways caused as much disruption as expected this week. For some, this will be a slight inconvenience because, unlike before the pandemic, they know working from home can be a success and they won’t have to struggle to get to the office. But many Londoners don’t have the luxury of working from home as their jobs require being there in person, including key workers like doctors, nurses, cleaners and teachers. It promises to be a difficult and frustrating few days for them.

“Despite a recovery in the use of public transport in the city, levels are still lower than those seen before the pandemic. The fear is that the strikes could undermine the fragile rebound in central London’s economy and contribute to a further decline in utilization as people get back into the habit of working from home. Any fall in TfL’s revenue also makes this week’s looming deadline for a new funding deal with the government all the more crucial, as it could be skipped by the Treasury as yet another reason to demand service cuts. In the interest of the city and TfL, there needs to be an end to short-term funding arrangements and a long-term sustainable package that allows for proper recovery planning.

Bonny J. Streater