Tube crunch talks under way

LAST minute talks are under way in a desperate bid to halt the 48-hour Tube walkout due to start tonight. London Underground drivers are set to down tools at 6.59pm today in a dispute over pay. Transport for London bosses and Rail, Maritime and Transport

LAST minute talks are under way in a desperate bid to halt the 48-hour Tube walkout due to start tonight.

London Underground drivers are set to down tools at 6.59pm today in a dispute over pay.

Transport for London bosses and Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union chiefs are meeting with negotiators from conciliation service Acas in an attempt to thrash out a final-hour agreement.

The RMT has dismissed pay offers including a 1.5 per cent rise now and inflation plus 0.5 per cent in subsequent years.

The union instead wants a five per cent pay hike for members, and a guarantee that no compulsory redundancies will be made under a planned �2.4billion cost-cutting drive.

If the strike does go ahead, it will cripple services across the entire network, including Central Line trains to Barking and Dagenham's District Line stations at Barking, Upney, Becontree, Dagenham Heathway and Dagenham East.

Most Read

Services will not return to normal until Friday morning.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has branded the strike plans "utterly demented".