UK

Rail passengers facing disruption as driver strikes continue

Members of the Aslef union on a picket line ahead of continuing strikes (Danny Lawson/PA)
Members of the Aslef union on a picket line ahead of continuing strikes (Danny Lawson/PA) Members of the Aslef union on a picket line ahead of continuing strikes (Danny Lawson/PA)

Strikes by train drivers will continue on Tuesday, causing more travel chaos in parts of England.

Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef at c2c and Greater Anglia will walk out, followed by strikes in the coming days at other train operators.

Trains could be disrupted on the evening before and morning after strikes.

Train drivers across England started a week-long ban on overtime last Friday which is also disrupting services.

The action follows news that Aslef members have voted overwhelmingly to continue taking industrial action for the next six months in their long-running dispute over pay.

No c2c trains will run on Tuesdays while Greater Anglia services will be disrupted.

Rob Mullen, c2c managing director, said: “I’m really disappointed that an agreement with Aslef hasn’t been reached.

“The impact of this ongoing action is significant for our customers and colleagues. I’m hopeful that further meetings with the unions are productive and see progress made towards concluding this challenging time for the railway.”

Greater Anglia said there will be a reduced service between Norwich and London Liverpool Street, Colchester and London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street.

A small number of Cambridge to London Liverpool Street services will run.

Members of the RMT union last week accepted a deal on pay and conditions but the Aslef dispute remains deadlocked.

Rail minister Huw Merriman said: “Following RMT members voting to overwhelmingly accept the train operators’ pay offer, Aslef is now not just the only rail union still striking but the only union not to even put an offer to its members.

“They are instead choosing to cause more misery for passengers and the hospitality sector this festive period.

“The fair and reasonable offer that’s long been on the table would bring the average train driver’s salary up to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week.

“Aslef’s leadership should follow in the footsteps of all the other rail unions by doing the right thing and giving their members a say on that offer.”

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, said the union was “in this for the long haul”, adding: “Our members, who have not had a pay rise for nearly five years now, are determined that the train companies, and the Tory government that stands behind them, do the right thing.

“The cost of living has soared since the spring and summer of 2019, when these pay deals ran out. The bosses at the train companies, as well as Tory MPs and government ministers, have had increases in pay.

“It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect our members to work just as hard for what, in real terms, is considerably less.”