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Rush hour commuters left stranded outside Ilford station as Central line hit by strike action

PUBLISHED: 09:05 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:03 26 January 2017

Crowd gathering outside Ilford station as the central line strike causes huge delays. Picture: @KhayerChowdhury.

Crowd gathering outside Ilford station as the central line strike causes huge delays. Picture: @KhayerChowdhury.

Archant

Commuters are facing big delays this morning as Tube workers continue strike action.

At Ilford station, commuters shared their woes with the Recorder as they queued to get into the station.

Alex Holmes, 18, who lives just near Ilford station described being caught up in a “massive scrum” of at least 500 people.

Despite setting off before 8am from his house, Alex wasn’t going to make it to work in Stratford before 10am.

“It was pretty bad,” he said.

“I got to the station and there must have been at least 500 people pushing together.

“I waited for half hour and didn’t even reach the ticket barriers so I turned back and got the bus.

“Workers obviously have good reason to strike but TfL transport seems to completely break down when it happens.”

But for Leena Nair, 47, Barkingside, it was an opportunity to catch up with an old friend.

She said: “It’s fair enough they strike if they feel they need too.

“It’s annoying but its one day.

“On the plus side, I was squeezed against my old friend I haven’t seen her in four years.

“I think everyone has come here this morning but if Central Line is down, that’s what you do.”

Mark Alex, 34, of College Gardens, Ilford, said he hoped the strike action was called off promptly.

He said: “Another strike by people who get paid more than I do for working less hours.

“Hard to feel sympathetic when they are disrupting thousand of people’s commutes.”

Pictures on social media have emerged showing people lining the streets outside Ilford station.

The 24-hour strike is currently ongoing by Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union drivers on the Central and Waterloo and City lines in protest over the displacement of staff.

It affected Muhammed Ali, 43 of Gaysham Avenue, Gants Hill, who is trying to get to work.

He said: “I think the whole of the borough has flocked to Ilford this morning.

Sanjit Averdit, 39 of Newbury Park, said the delay had added more than an hour to his journey.

He said: “I should have taken the bus to Romford station instead the roads are so congested it took me an hour just to get to Ilford, and now I have to fight to get on at the overground.”

Tfl Rail are warning those travelling from Ilford to use alternative transport including the 86 bus service.

By 6.30am, Transport for London said there was no service east of Leytonstone and a less frequent service on the rest of the route.

Trains on the Central line are expected to be less frequent throughout the day.


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