Rail walkouts to bring further disruption with strikes impacting Epsom Derby and FA Cup Final

31 May 2023, 01:46 | Updated: 31 May 2023, 02:06

Rail passengers are set be hit with further travel disruption in the coming days due to more strikes in on-going disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.
Rail passengers are set be hit with further travel disruption in the coming days due to more strikes in on-going disputes over pay, jobs and conditions. Picture: Alamy / Getty

By Chris Samuel

Rail passengers are set be hit with further travel disruption in the coming days due to more strikes in on-going disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.

Train firms are warning that industrial action by drivers and other workers will mean services will be "severely reduced".

Members of the drivers' union Aslef are scheduled to walk out on Wednesday and June 3, while members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), working for 14 train companies, will strike on June 2.

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Train users are being advised to plan ahead and check the times of first and last services.

Members of RMT & ASLEF trade unions on a picket line at Brixton on March 15, 2023 in London, United Kingdom.
Members of RMT & ASLEF trade unions on a picket line at Brixton on March 15, 2023 in London, United Kingdom. Picture: Getty

15 train companies will be affected by the strikes, with services set to start later and finish much earlier than usual.

This is typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

Around half of the network will close down on the day of the RMT strike, with approximately half of services operating.

On the Aslef strike days, around 40 percent of trains will be running.

However, there will be wide variations regionally, with some operators not running any services at all.

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Evening services will likely be affected on some lines on the days before each strike day and the mornings after strikes.

Aslef is also set to begin an overtime ban at 15 train operating firms on June 1 that could result in disruption, especially for passengers travelling in and out of London.

The strike action will also impact football fans travelling to Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United on Saturday, and fans travelling from Manchester are advised not to try to do so on the day of the game.

There are also services to Epsom Downs where the Derby is run on the same day.

The strike action will affect people travelling to the FA Cup final on Saturday
The strike action will affect people travelling to the FA Cup final on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

Due to the RMT strike, there will be a limited service on Friday.

A Rail Delivery Group (RDG) spokesperson said: "The upcoming rail strikes called by the Aslef and RMT leadership will not only affect our passengers' daily commute but will also impact those travelling to and from the FA Cup final and other events across the country, causing disappointment and frustration for tens of thousands of people.

"It will also inconvenience families who have been looking forward and have planned their half-term holidays.

"It will also further burden our people who have already lost thousands of pounds at a time of financial strain."

Aslef boss Mick Whelan told the PA news agency there was "no waning in enthusiasm" from train drivers to continue striking.

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"We are determined to get a resolution and remain in this for the long haul," he said.

"It is time for the government to step back from interference which is preventing a deal - drivers, in line with other workers, deserve a pay rise after four years without one and inflation running over the last 12 months north of 10%."

Both unions say they have not received a pay offer that it can recommend to their members and claim that ministers are preventing the train firms from making them an acceptable offer, which the government denies.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "The government has facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer, now union leaders must do the right thing and put this to their members."

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