London, Aug 6: Long queues and large crowds of stranded commuters was the sight at rush hour here today as London Underground's second strike in a month brought the city to a standstill.
Around 250 extra buses have been deputed to try and cope with the fallout of the closure of the entire subway network as staff protest plans to run a 24-hour Tube service on Fridays and Saturdays from September 12.
Transport for London (TfL) said it would have a total fleet of 8,200 buses operating at peak times during the strike. People are being encouraged to use alternative modes of transport to reach their destinations.
River bus service MBNA Thames Clippers tweeted: "Piers are very busy at present we're doing everything we can to ensure passengers reach their destination, thank you for your patience." London Underground (LU) apologised for the disruption due to the latest strike action after the first one caused widespread chaos last month on July 8-9.
"It is crazy, when you have the technology, not to put a 24-hour service in a 24-hour city," said London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has ruled out further concessions to the staff. "I am not going to authorise any more money.
Most people would recognise that this is a very generous deal," he said. LU said the new offer included a 2 per cent salary increase this year, an extra 200 pound per night shift for drivers for a limited time and a 500 pound bonus for night Tube staff when the service is introduced in September.
Unite, Aslef, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) have all turned down the offer. LU managing director Nick Brown said: "The unions rejected this fair offer outright and instead demanded more money, the hiring of even more staff - including for ticket offices that customers no longer use - and a 32 hour, four day week.
"No employer can afford to meet those sorts of demands," he added.