As MPs prepare to debate on possible changes to strike laws, new research suggests that tube strikes may in fact be good for the economy in the long-term.

According to academics from Oxford and Cambridge, one in 20 commuters affected by the tube strikes in February 2014 found a more efficient route to work and intend to keep for an average of four years.

The study claimed that the time gained by these workers outweighed the extra time added to thousands of commuters' journeys.

Tim Willems, of Oxford university’s department of economics, said: “Given that a significant fraction of commuters on the London Underground failed to find their optimal route until they were forced to experiment, perhaps we should not be too frustrated that we can’t always get what we want or that others sometimes take decisions for us.”

Trade Union Bill

MPs will today (Monday) debate proposed changes to the trade union strike ballots law for the first time. The government wants to tighten the rules, making it harder for unions to strike.

The Trade Union Bill wants to bring in higher thresholds for ballots, meaning more people have to vote, and vote in favour of a strike for one to go ahead. Trade unions, and new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have described it as a threat to workers' rights. But the government says it wants to stop the "endless" threat of strikes.

Currently a ballot needs only a majority of those who vote, but the government wants at least a 50% turnout.

The Trade Union Bill would also see unions have to give at least 14 days notice of a strike and allow employers to hire agency workers in their place.