Widespread UK train strikes to disrupt travellers

Train drivers at UK rail companies to strike on different days from Tuesday to Thursday

Passengers at Waterloo Station in London, as members of train drivers' union Aslef are preparing for more strike action in a long-running dispute over pay. PA
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Rail services will be at a standstill on some of the busiest commuter routes in the country on Tuesday because of another strike by drivers in a near two-year-long pay dispute.

Many services into London such as Southern, Southeastern and South Western Railway will be cancelled as members of Aslef walk out for the day.

Members of other operators will also strike on Wednesday and Thursday, while drivers are banning overtime until Saturday which is also causing disruption.

Passengers are being urged to check before attempting to travel by train this week.

The dispute is now the longest ever in the rail industry.

There is a glimmer of hope that negotiations will start in a bid to resolve the row after the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) invited Aslef to talks about exploring any common ground that could break the deadlock.

No formal talks between the operators and the union have been held for a year and it has been even longer since a transport minister was involved.

Business groups have warned of the impact on the economy of the strikes, especially for hospitality firms.

Train drivers will strike on the following days:

– Tuesday May 7: c2c, Greater Anglia, GTR’s Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern (including Gatwick Express), Southeastern, and South Western Railway.

– Wednesday May 8: Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway, Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, GWR, and West Midlands Trains.

– Thursday May 9: LNER, Northern, and TransPennine Express.

UK strikes – in pictures

Aslef said its members have not had a pay rise for five years and has accused the UK government of “giving up” trying to resolve the dispute.

“The rail industry is working hard to keep trains running but it is likely that services on some lines will be affected on the evening before and morning after each strike between May 7 and May 9 because many trains will not be in the right depots to start services the following day," a spokesman for the RDG said.

“We can only apologise to our customers for this wholly unnecessary strike action called by the Aslef leadership, which will sadly disrupt journeys once again.

“It will also inflict further damage on an industry that is receiving up to an additional £54 million ($68 million) a week in taxpayer cash to keep services running, following the Covid downturn.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The Transport Secretary and rail minister have already facilitated a pay offer that would take train drivers’ average salaries up to £65,000 – almost twice the UK average salary.

“Aslef are the only union left striking after the government oversaw deals with all the other unions.

“Instead of causing passengers disruption, they should put this offer to their members and work with industry to end this dispute.”

Meanwhile, engineers on the Croydon Tramlink went on strike on Sunday until 6am on Thursday in a separate pay dispute.

Updated: May 06, 2024, 11:01 PM