05/04/2018 17:53 BST

London Marathon Runners Face Travel Disruption As DLR Strike Announced For Race Weekend

Workers are set to down tools for four days.

PA Archive/PA Images
The London Marathon could be disrupted by strikes on the DLR 

Thousands of runners and spectators heading for the start line of this month’s London Marathon could face serious disruptions due to a strike on the capital’s overground DLR system.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union confirmed on Thursday that the four-day walkout would go ahead after discussions about outsourcing with KeolisAmey Docklands, which operates the DLR, failed to progress.  

Members will stop working between Friday April 20 and Tuesday April 24, with the marathon due to take place on Sunday April 22. 

The RMT General Secretary Mike Cash said the union would continue to push for a settlement to ensure “workplace justice for this key group of London transport workers”. 

“Our negotiating team is frustrated that the talks that wound up yesterday have failed to make any significant progress on the key issues,” he continued.  

The action could cause serious disruption in the capital, with thousands of runners and spectators set to flock to London that weekend for the city’s 38th annual marathon.

Last year, more than 40,000 people participated in the iconic race. 

ADRIAN DENNIS via Getty Images
Mary Keitany crossing the line to win the women's elite race at the 2017 London Marathon

Mark Davis, Transport for London’s interim general manager of the DLR, urged RMT and KeolisAmey Dockands to continue with discussions. 

“Millions of pounds are raised for charity at the London Marathon and we don’t want to see the thousands of people who have signed up to run, or their supporters, disrupted,” he said. 

“If the strike goes ahead, we will work with the operator to provide as much of a service as possible. We will ensure customers have all the information they need to re-plan their journeys during this unnecessary strike.”

Abdellah Chajai, managing director of KeolisAmey Docklands, said: “Again, we are faced with RMT refusing to genuinely negotiate and avert unnecessary disruption to our passengers, not least the London Marathon runners and their supporters who are raising millions of pounds for charities.

“Despite this frustrating move, we remain committed to meaningful and reasonable discussion with the union to resolve the issues and we have agreed to meet with the RMT again at the earliest opportunity.

“The announcement of strike action is totally unnecessary and, unlike the union, our focus continues to be on doing all we can to avoid disruption for our passengers.”