A trio of strikes will hit passengers by air and rail in London this week, with Southern rail, London Underground and British Airways workers all to take industrial action.
Tube staff are on strike in London on Monday, and on Tuesday drivers will start three days of strikes across Southern rail network, stopping all Southern trains from running. BA workers are to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Staff across the entire London Underground network walked out at 6pm on Sunday (8 January), after unions and Transport for London failed to reach an agreement in last ditch discussions on Saturday.
There is a limited service on eight out of 11 tube lines, and all Zone 1 stations are closed.
Earlier, Clapham Junction station had to be evacuated because of overcrowding. There were large crowds outside stations including Liverpool Street and Waterloo as people queued to catch buses, taxis and trains.
Travellers were warned that though the strike was scheduled to end 6pm on Monday, there would be knock on delays. Normal service is expected to resume on Tuesday.
Roads in the capital were congested with extra traffic, and TfL deployed extra buses to cope with increased demand.
The dispute between Transport for London and the RMT and TSSA unions is over the effects of closing ticket offices and shedding hundreds of staff under previous London Mayor Boris Johnson.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Despite huge efforts by the union negotiating team, London Underground have failed to come up with any serious plans to tackle the staffing and safety crisis caused by the axing of nearly 900 safety-critical station jobs."
Steve Griffiths, London Underground's chief operating officer, called on unions to call off the strike, but said: "It is clear that some more staff for stations are needed."
TfL said it was committed to looking at recommendations – in a recent report by London Travelwatch – into the closure of ticket offices.
Rail travellers will also face serious disruption, with the Southern rail strike to be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The service operates in south London, Sussex, Surrey and parts of Hampshire, and there are expected to be severe knock-on delays on Thursday.
Limited replacement buses will connect Brighton and London, and will take passengers to stations served by neighbouring train networks.
The strike was cut from six days after discussions, though Aslef said there could be three further strike days at the end of the month.
The dispute centres on the issue of driverless trains, and Mick Whelan, the general secretary of the Aslef drivers union said that – though the union would attend talks with transport secretary Chris Grayling and the RMT ahead of the walkout – he did not forsee any reason the strike would be called off.
There will also be chaos for air travellers, with British Airways cabin crew to begin a two-day strike on Tuesday.
The strike will result in some Heathrow flights will be cancelled or rescheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, but all booked passengers should fly on those days. Flights will operate as normal from Gatwick and London City.
The dispute centres on what the Unite union has called "poverty pay". New employees earn as little as £12,000 basic salary, although the airline says full-time staff earn at least £21,000 a year after additional hourly payments, commission and allowances for flights they work.