Tube Strike Does Not Stop London's Commuters
Thousands of commuters suffered travel chaos but according to the London mayor 91% of regular Oyster card users made journeys on Thursday.
Transport for London said that three out of four Tube stations were open and services were running on nine out of 11 lines.
However, those services were limited with trains not stopping at all stations, particularly in the centre of the city.
Boris Johnson took to the District Line in an attempt to demonstrate to the unions that they had failed to bring the capital to its knees, despite their claims to have reduced the Underground to a "skeleton service".
He tweeted: "I've just been on the District Line - Emb'mnt to S'thfields & back - working well. Today 91% of regular Oyster customers made their journey."
Talks aimed at stopping next week's continuation of the London Underground industrial action are being held on Friday.
However, if the London mayor and the unions fail to resolve their differences a second strike will go ahead on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
It has emerged this second wave will coincide with a two-day strike by Metropolitan police staff over low pay, which could compound the woes of Londoners.
The 48-hour strike, which began at 9pm on Tuesday, has seen hundreds of people cramming on to station platforms attempting to get the overground trains.
At the country's busiest train station, Clapham Junction, violence broke out when one passenger head-butted another after failing to get on an already packed train.
Long queues formed at bus stops as people struggled to get into work despite extra services being put on to cope with the shut-down.
The unions claimed victory and said 70% of the system had been brought to a standstill.
Many commuters decided to drive to work while others decided to try cycling. The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, the so-called Boris Bikes, saw a sharp increase in users. There were 30,000 hires on Wednesday, a 50% increase on normal days, and by 10am on Thursday 11,000 bikes had been borrowed.
Business leaders estimate that the stoppages will have cost the economy £50m a day.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staff Association unions have walked out in protest at the closure of ticket offices with the loss of 750 jobs.
Mr Johnson said that only 3% of passengers used the offices to buy tickets and that the system is "antiquated". He said the closures would save £50m.
But the unions have said that this would not be true of some of the busier stations and that it would be wrong to replace skilled workers with machines.
Mr Johnson, who said the redundancies would all be voluntary, has said that he would not meet with the unions unless they agreed to call off the strike.
Earlier this week it led to a bizarre series of events where RMT chief Bob Crow called the London mayor on his LBC radio phone-in programme to confront him on the issue.
The conciliation service Acas said in a brief statement released on Wednesday: "The parties in the London Underground dispute have agreed to come in and continue exploratory talks at Acas this Friday, February 7."
Mr Crow said: "Our negotiators are geared up and ready to enter the exploratory talks on Friday.
"In the meantime the current action continues with the rock solid support of our members ..."
The Prime Minister has backed Mr Johnson and repeatedly appealed to Mr Crow to call off the strike, calling it "shameful".
London Underground managing director Mike Brown said: "We welcome further talks, and the unions' decision to return to Acas, but why wait till Friday?"
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