Upcoming rail disruptions have been announced by train drivers’ unions RMT and Aslef that are due to take place from the end of September to early October.
The strikes have been timed in order to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester after ongoing disputes with train operators.
When are the rail strikes?
There will be a walkout on Saturday, September 30, the day before the conference, and Wednesday, October 4, the final day of the conference, where all services participating in the walkout will be cancelled on these days.
In addition to the walkout, Aslef has also announced an overtime ban which will take place on Friday, September 29 and from Monday, October 2 to Friday, October 6, bringing further disruption to journeys.
Why are there rail strikes?
The strikes have come about due to long and ongoing disputes with 14 train operators over pay, working conditions and jobs. There have been national rail strikes since June 2022 involving two unions; Aslef and RMT. These rail strikes and other forms of industrial action have been causing mass disruption all over the country to passengers’ travel plans.
The union has blamed the government for its failure to meet negotiating teams and that the issues won’t be resolved until the government offer them a settlement.
Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, has said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers have forced us into this position.
“Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time. Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”
Which operators are involved in the strikes?
The train companies affected are:
- Avanti West Coast
- Caledonian Sleeper
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Anglia
- GTR Great Northern Thameslink
- Heathrow Express
- Island Line
- Northern Trains
- Gatwick Express
- South Western Railway main line
- Stanstead Express
- SWR depot drivers
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
Is there a Tube strike?
On top of the Aslef walkout, the RMT have also announced that Tube strikes on the London Underground will take place on October 4 and October 6 to coincide with the rail strikes. This comes over a dispute over safety at work and job losses. This will see most services on all Underground lines come to a standstill on both days.
The RMT said it is “locked in a long-running dispute over 600 station staff cutsand detrimental working conditions since last year”.
Are there more strikes planned?
There are currently no further strikes pencilled in.
Already booked a ticket on a day affected by strikes?
If a passenger’s train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled then they are able to get refunds on their Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets.
National Rail’s advice during the strikes are to use its Journey Planner in order to help them travel, use its Live Trains page for the most up-to-date information on arrivals and departures, and to plan ahead and check before you travel.