London 'Tube' drivers to get bonus during Olympics

Updated: 2011-09-15 17:16


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LONDON - Train drivers on London's Underground rail network will pocket an extra 500 pounds for working during next summer's Olympics as the city attempts to get sports fans to stadiums on time.

Organisers are relying on the Underground, already overcrowded and with a history of strikes, to ferry spectators to the Olympic venues in the heart of the city and at the Olympic Park in the east of the capital.

Getting people to take the Tube is vital if the tens of thousands of athletes, officials and journalists are to secure a smooth ride on London's traditionally log-jammed roads and the city is not to ground to a halt.

Politicians have branded London as the "public transport Games".

London Underground said on Tuesday that drivers working between the Olympics and Paralympics will receive the one-off payment, in addition to overtime.

It said it was in recognition of a change in the terms and conditions of working contracts, which could require drivers to work longer than eight hours. The Underground will also stay open one hour later than usual.

The deal, which comes after six months of talks, is separate from ongoing discussions over pay.

"LU is committed to ensuring that the train service we provide contributes to the successful operation of the Games and I am pleased that we and the unions have been able to engage in constructive dialogue to reach this agreement," LU's Managing Director Mike Brown said in a statement.