UK

Fresh disruption to train services as drivers strike again

The Aslef strike means the frequency of the Heathrow Express will be halved from four trains an hour to two on Thursday (Steve Parsons/PA)
The Aslef strike means the frequency of the Heathrow Express will be halved from four trains an hour to two on Thursday (Steve Parsons/PA) The Aslef strike means the frequency of the Heathrow Express will be halved from four trains an hour to two on Thursday (Steve Parsons/PA)

Trains to the country’s busiest airport will be among services disrupted on Thursday because of ongoing strikes by drivers in a long-running pay dispute.

Members of Aslef have launched a rolling programme of walkouts and a ban on overtime, which has caused travel chaos since the weekend.

Busy commuter routes into London from southern England were affected by walkouts on Wednesday following strikes at the weekend and on Tuesday in other parts of the country.

Train drivers on CrossCountry, Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express will strike on Thursday.

Industrial strike
Industrial strike A strike by members of the train drivers’ union Aslef is causing travel disruption throughout the week (Joe Giddens/PA)

CrossCountry, which has the most extensive rail network in the UK – stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, and from Stansted to Cardiff – will run no trains.

Great Western Railway services will operate only between 7am and 7pm, with limited routes open.

The frequency of the Heathrow Express will be halved from four trains an hour to two and it will not run before 7am or after 7.15pm.

Aslef members at Northern Rail and TransPennine Express will strike on Friday, causing the cancellation of all services.

A week-long ban on overtime by Aslef members at all the train operators involved in the dispute will end this weekend.

Aslef has been in dispute for more than 18 months in protest at a pay offer worth 8% over two years.

Train operators and the Government have urged the union to put the offer to a ballot of its members.

Aslef says regular re-ballots of its members which have returned overwhelming votes for continuing with strikes show strong support for the campaign for an improved pay offer.

No talks have been held for months, and the union has criticised the government’s role in the dispute, saying no meetings have been held with the Transport Secretary for a year.