A fresh strike by train drivers will cause more travel chaos for passengers on Saturday amid warnings of further walkouts in a long-running dispute over pay.
Members of Aslef in 11 train operators will walk out, causing huge disruption, with the industry warning of ‘significantly reduced’ services across the country.
Passengers were urged to plan ahead and check before they travel throughout the whole weekend.
Trains that are running will start later on Saturday morning and finish much earlier than usual, with services typically running between 7.30am and 6.30pm on the day of the strike.
Rugby fans travelling to England v South Africa at Twickenham and to Cardiff for the Wales v Australia international are advised to check with their train operator for travel updates as many trains across the network will be affected.
Trains that are running will start later on Saturday morning and finish much earlier than usual, with services typically running between 7.30am and 6.30pm on the day of the strike. Pictured: Aslef Secretary-General Mick Whelan (left) attends a picket at Euston Station back in October
Companies where no services are expected to run include Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Chiltern and East Midlands, while others including Great Western and Greater Anglia say services will be extremely limited. Pictured: King’s Cross Station empty on October 8 due to previous rail strikes
Who is striking and when?
December 15 and 20
December 13, 14, 16 and 17
December 14, 15, 23 and Christmas Eve
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said progress in talks aimed at resolving the dispute had been ‘incredibly slow’.
He said: ‘We don’t want to be in this position, but no-one is listening to us. Our members did not receive a pay rise during the pandemic and we are being told that train companies can’t afford more than a 2% rise.
‘Only the Government can take the shackles off the employers. We are in this for the long haul – and our members want us to go harder and faster.’
Mr Whelan is due to meet Transport Secretary Mark Harper next week to discuss the dispute.
Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group, said: ‘The strike by Aslef brings more uncertainty for passengers and businesses by disrupting their weekend plans.
‘While we will do all that we can to minimise disruption, if you are going to travel on the routes affected, please plan ahead and check the latest travel advice on national rail inquiries.
‘Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strike can use their ticket either on the day before the date on the ticket, or up to and including Tuesday 29 November. Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.’
Companies where no services are expected to run include Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Chiltern and East Midlands, while others including Great Western and Greater Anglia say services will be extremely limited.
It comes as winter of discontent looms with tens of thousands of workers across vital sectors threatening walkouts in the coming weeks, including firefighters, midwives, doctors, postal workers and more.
Strike action over pay will see trains stop running and posties refusing to deliver cards and presents in the run up to Christmas Day, in scenes reminiscent of the dark days of militancy in the 1970s.
Tens of thousands of nurses are also due to down tools for two days, the first industrial action in the history of the Royal College of Nursing.
The Royal College of Nursing announced the first in a series of walk outs over pay will take place on Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20 December
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has called a series of strikes in the coming weeks at Network Rail and 14 train operators in its dispute over jobs, pay and conditions, which will cripple services.
There will be four 48-hour walkouts between December 13 and January 7, forcing many revellers to cancel parties and shoppers to stay at home instead – and lay waste to events booked in hospitality venues.
RMT chief Mick Lynch yesterday refused to call off a series of rail strikes which are set to cripple Britain in December, threatening a Christmas of chaos as pub, fast-food, Royal Mail staff and nurses also prepare to walk out over the crucial festive period.
He said his members are ‘once bitten twice shy’ after calling off industrial action a fortnight ago with no deal to show for it – but added that talks with Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Thursday afternoon had been positive.
More than 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will walk out on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7
Royal Mail’s workers are set to inflict fresh misery on those planning to post gifts and cards in the run up to December 25
There will also be a ban on overtime working from December 18 to January 2. This will hit services on Sundays and other key dates such as Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, when many travel to be with loved-ones and friends.
The carefully chosen dates will disrupt people going out to watch the final week of the World Cup, as well as Friday December 16, known as ‘Black Eye Friday’ because it is the busiest night of drinking before Christmas. After Christmas the return to work and school will also be hit by four strike dates in January.
Mr Lynch said after yesterday’s meeting that Mark Harper had agreed to write to him with how he sees the union’s dispute with rail operators ‘going forward and taking forward steps towards a resolution’.