Ondon faces further travel chaos on Tuesday as the start of a 48-hour rail strike and cold weather threaten to bring the capital to a standstill.
RMT union members from 14 railway companies rejected a salary offer from Network Rail and confirmed on Monday they would be walking down Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
The fallout from the industrial dispute, which will severely disrupt train services in the capital, comes on top of the chaos that the frigid weather is set to cause once again.
The Met Office issued an ice warning for the capital until 11am on Tuesday morning.
It warned: “Lying snow and icy patches will make travel conditions difficult Monday through Tuesday” and urged people to deal with “icy patches on some untreated roads, sidewalks and bike lanes” and “some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces.” “to be reckoned with”.
On strike days, about 20 per cent of services will operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm, National Rail has warned, and commuters have been urged to check final train times and only travel if “absolutely necessary”.
The Elizabeth Line will operate a reduced service between London Paddington and Reading. Meanwhile, the Heathrow Express service between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport ends at 18:30.
Reduced service is scheduled between 7.30am and 6.30pm on the East Coast Main Line, which connects London King’s Cross, Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
It comes after hundreds of flights, trains and subways were canceled amid commuter chaos on Monday morning.
Sunday night’s snowfall in the capital left motorists stranded for hours on the M25 and more than 30 schools closed, forcing many parents to take time off work.
Nationwide, around 7,500 drivers collapsed and called the “extraordinarily busy” RAC because of the freezing temperatures.
In Solihull, in the West Midlands, three children rescued from a lake after falling through ice have died in hospital, while a fourth remains in critical condition.
Meanwhile, hundreds of flights have been cancelled, delayed or diverted and some stranded passengers have been forced to sleep on the ground at Gatwick.
Offer rejected by Network Rail
On Monday, 63.6 percent of 83 percent of RMT union members voted to reject Network Rail’s latest offer, which included a 5 percent and 4 percent pay rise over two years.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This is a massive rejection of Network Rail’s substandard offer and shows our members’ determination to take further strike action to reach a negotiated settlement.
“The government refuses to lift a finger to stop these strikes and it is clear they want to make effective strike action illegal in the UK.”
Meanwhile, National Rail said the strikes had been “deeply frustrating” and “highly disruptive” and “caused distress to passengers across the country” during the holiday season.
Network Rail’s Western Route interim director David Davidson said: “I would like to apologize to passengers and urge them to seek alternative travel options than train and for those passengers who must travel by train to deal with severe disruption to calculate, plan ahead and check the time of your last train home.”
Further rail strikes are planned between 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and 6 a.m. on December 27 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.
The 14 railway companies involved are: Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR ( including Gatwick Express).