UK

Rail passengers facing further strikes from Thursday

Empty platforms at Paddington railway station in London (Peter Clifton/PA)
Empty platforms at Paddington railway station in London (Peter Clifton/PA) Empty platforms at Paddington railway station in London (Peter Clifton/PA)

Rail passengers are being warned of disruption to services from Thursday because of fresh industrial action by train drivers and other workers in long running disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will strike on July 20, 22 and 29 while drivers in Aslef are banning overtime this week.

RMT members including station staff, train managers and catering staff will be involved in the action.

Passengers were advised to check their travel arrangements in advance as the level of service will vary across the country.

The strike action at 14 train companies will see wide variations of services across the country with trains due to start later and finish much earlier than usual.

In some areas only around half of train services will run, while others will have no services at all.

Evening services on some lines are likely to be affected on the days before each strike and on the mornings following the action.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: ”The upcoming rail strikes called by the RMT union and the overtime ban by Aslef will undoubtedly cause some disruption, affecting not only the daily commute of our passengers but also disrupting the plans of families during the summer holidays.

“This will lead to disappointment, frustration, and financial strain for tens of thousands of people. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and understand the impact on individuals and businesses.

INDUSTRY Strikes
INDUSTRY Strikes (PA Graphics)

“While we are doing all we can to keep trains running, unfortunately there will be reduced services between Monday July 17 and Saturday July 29, so our advice is to check before you travel.

“Passengers with Advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.”

RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said the strikes would show the country “just how important railway staff are to the running of the rail industry”.

“My team of negotiators and I are available 24/7 for talks with the train operating companies and government,” he said.

“Yet quite incredibly neither party has made any attempt whatsoever to arrange any meetings or put forward a decent offer that can help us reach a negotiated solution.

“The Government continues to shackle the companies and will not allow them to put forward a package that can settle this dispute.”

Strike action
Strike action Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Train drivers don’t want to be inconveniencing the public.

“We want to resolve this dispute.

“We have given the Government and rail operators plenty of opportunities to come to the table but it remains clear that they do not want a resolution.

“Our members, the drivers who keep the railway running day in, day out, will not accept the Government’s attempts to force our industry into decline.

“Rail travel is a vital part of the fight against climate change.

“Rail connectivity is essential to the country’s economy.

“It’s time for a fair deal and a resolution so we can grow our railway and improve it for the future.”

Passengers were also warned to expect disruption to London Underground services next week because of industrial action by the RMT and Aslef in a separate dispute over jobs, pensions and conditions.