London’s public transport faced severe disruption this week, hitting three of the main rail links to the Olympic Park in east London.
With the underground already overstretched, this diruption raised concerns over whether London’s public transport will be able to cope with the Olympics. The Central Line closure was due to a passenger on the tracks while the Jubilee Line was experiencing faulty platform-edge doors. A key overground link was also said to be experiencing severe delays.
“It’s been a bit of a nightmare. They seem to be understaffed. I’m not sure they’re going to be able to cope [with the Olympics],” said Mike Troughton, a passenger at the busy Liverpool Street station.
The labour union, RMT, also announced industrial work in some parts of the city’s transport network during the games so they can demand bonuses in recognition of the extra work involved.
The union said staff from the South West trains will refuse to work overtime throughout the Games while the employees at Serco, the company that runs the bicycles-for-hire known as ‘Boris Bikes,’ will do the same during the first weekend of the games.
“We cannot accept that blatant unfairness and the time has come for these employers to seize the opportunity, get round the table and sign off agreements that recognize the additional work and pressures that these staff will be carrying,” said RMT boss, Bob Crow.