A gesture of goodwill

The NewsSimon FellComment

Two 24-hour strikes, due to run this week, have been called off by the unions in a last minute gesture of "goodwill." In truth, both sides' patience is at breaking point.

The unions involved in calling the strike action claim that the delay will allow more time for the dispute to be resolved through conciliation service Acas.

However, the threat of further industrial action has not been lifted - strikes, should the "remaining sticking points" not be resolved, have been called for 8 & 10 September.

The question is whether this action will delay the implementation of the Night Tube. Noises from City Hall suggest that this might indeed be the case. Achieving any delay would be a significant victory for the unions, although there is a real risk of them winning the battle but losing the war through pursuit of this strategy. Unsurprisingly at least one petition for driverless trains to be introduced on the Underground has appeared in recent days.

The current situation is untenable but as this game of chicken continues it becomes more difficult for either side to step away with their head held high. Let's all hope that the next round of talks at Acas delivers a resolution that both sides - and, most importantly, Londoners - can live with.