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Gridlock grips Paris as transport workers strike

Parisians struggled to get to work as a 24-hour strike the city's transport service workers nearly paralysed the subway and severely disrupted bus and suburban train services.

Commuters huddled in long queues around the city's bus stops and crammed into the few subway trains that were running.

Many commuters used their cars to get to work, and traffic authorities reported 260 kilometres (161 miles) of traffic jams on the main roads leading into the capital.

The Paris transport authority says traffic had virtually come to a halt on most metro lines and there was almost no service on the RERA suburban line which crosses the city.

Only half the city's buses are running, crammed to capacity with commuters and schoolchildren standing in the aisles.

Only one metro line is not affected, the new No. 14 which is automatic. The strike is due to continue until normal metro closing hours.

Trade unions are demanding the creation of more jobs, better working conditions and higher salaries.

Management have condemned the strike, saying it is out of proportion, given the consequences to commuters.