The second 24-hour Tube strike in the space of a month will hit hospitality and tourism businesses hard, according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
Following the failure of talks to resolve a dispute about the introduction of a 24-hour service next month between unions and London Underground, the strike started at 6.30pm last night. All four main Tube workers' unions are supporting the action which has closed all stations today (Thursday 6 August).
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim (pictured) said: "London's economy is heavily reliant on its fast and reliable public transport network to move around the capital's residents, tourists and visitors.
"Strike action, especially during busy summer months, is a real nightmare for our hotel, restaurant and visitor attraction members who have to maintain high standards while facing the staff shortages and unpredictable customer footfall resulting from the transport challenges.
"London needs the new round-the-clock tube service on weekends as soon as possible: it is essential to keep up with global cities like New York and Berlin, and to support London's 24-hour lifestyle. The unions should call off their strike action and allow London to continue to welcome visitors with open arms.
"According to latest figures, online searches for hotels and accommodation in London fell by almost a quarter during the last Tube strike action and we expect this to be the case again. We hope that trade union leaders will be able to avoid further strike action in the future so our members can continue to welcome guests uninterrupted and to protect London's place as the top destination in the world."
Tube drivers are unhappy at pay and conditions offered for working on the new night service. London Underground apologised for the disruption, saying the latest offer - including a 2% salary increase this year, an extra £200 per night shift for drivers for a limited time and a £500 bonus for night Tube staff - aimed to improve work-life balance.
TFL said some 250 buses will be laid on during the strike with extra river services also running during peak hours.
Latest video from The Caterer