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Buses and bikes to help in strike

Details of a "major effort" to help people get to work during a strike by London Underground workers have been unveiled, including extra buses, escorted bike rides and more river journeys.

Thousands of members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association are due to walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on Monday in a row over 800 job losses.

The walkout, to be followed by further stoppages in October and November, threaten travel chaos in the capital, where millions of Tube journeys are made every day.

Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London on Friday announced contingency plans for dealing with the strike, with 100 extra buses being laid on, escorted bike rides, marshalled taxi ranks, and capacity for 10,000 more journeys on the River Thames.

Volunteers will be positioned at Tube, bus, and rail stations to help people with their journeys and provide maps and other information.

The move follows the breakdown of peace talks at the conciliation service Acas on Thursday, with both sides blaming each other for the deadlock.

TfL warned that disruption is expected from late afternoon on Monday and is set to last throughout Tuesday if the strike goes ahead.

Mr Johnson, said: "Londoners are a hardy bunch and I am sure a Tube strike will not deter us from getting around. I have asked TfL to pull out all the stops, but we must be clear that the RMT and TSSA plan to inconvenience Londoners for no good reason.

"The extra measures we have put in call for a team effort and people will need to consider buses, boats or bikes as an alternative to their usual journeys. This planned action will cause disruption for millions of Londoners and I call on the unions to get round the table and show common sense."

London Underground admitted that disruption is likely on most Tube journeys during the strike, adding that it will run as many trains and keep as many stations open as possible.

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