Travel News

Rail passengers face summer of strife as national strikes resume

Rail passengers face summer of strife as national strikes resume

Forty-eight hours of rail chaos is about to get under way. Travellers trying to reach the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday and, next month, the FA Cup Final by train could find their trains cancelled by a series of strikes.

As the next round of national rail strikes begins, the dispute between rail unions, train operators and ministers appears deeper than ever.

In June 2022, the first national rail strikes since the 1980s began across Britain in a tangle of disputes about pay, job security and working arrangements have caused problems for tens of millions of train passengers. Stoppages have been called frequently, causing massive disruption and making advance travel planning difficult.

Across England – and on some lines in Scotland and Wales – tens of thousands of trains will be cancelled over the next 23 days.

Passengers heading for the final stages of the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool will be hit this weekend, while in later walkouts sports fans will find it hard to reach the FA Cup Final and Epsom Derby.

Strikes look likely to continue through the summer of 2023. While the government and the rail unions trade insults, passengers are facing months of uncertainty.

These are the key questions and answers about the disputes.

Who is striking?

All the railway staff who are taking industrial action over the next few weeks are members of the main unions: Aslef, representing train drivers, and the larger RMT, which represents other workers.

Both unions are involved in a long and bitter dispute with all the big train operators in England who are contracted by the Department for Transport (DfT).

In terms of the sheer number of passengers, the London commuter routes are the most significant. They include Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink, Greater Anglia and Southeastern.

Five intercity operators – Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, LNER and TransPennine Express – are also involved. (Unrelated to the strikes, TransPennine Express will be brought into public ownership on 28 May after continual large-scale cancellations.)

Three operators focusing on the Midlands and north of England are caught up in the dispute: Chiltern Railways, Northern Trains and West Midlands Trains.

When are they striking?

Aslef members will walk out on Friday 12 May, Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June. To cause…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…