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Train drivers’ strikes to bring more travel misery

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Train drivers’ strikes to bring more travel misery

Parts of the country will have no rail services on Saturday because of the latest strike by train drivers, causing travel chaos for passengers including sports fans.

Members of Aslef at Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway and West Midlands Railway will walk out for 24 hours in their long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Strikes against different English train operators started earlier this week and will continue on Monday, while a ban on overtime will last until Tuesday, also causing disruption to services.

Football fans attending many league games will be among those affected on Saturday, while the hospitality industry has warned that the ongoing industrial action is costing the sector tens of millions of pounds in lost income.

Avanti West Coast urged its customers not to travel on Saturday as there will be no services.

Managing director Andy Mellors said: “Our customers want to be out using our network and it is disappointing that we are once again asking them not to travel on a weekend.

“We understand their frustration and can only apologise for the disruption to their plans.

“We’d encourage those able to do so to take advantage of the ticket easement and change their day of travel. Alternatively, customers are entitled to a full fee-free refund.”

Football games affected on Avanti’s routes include Everton v Tottenham, Burnley v Fulham, Leyton Orient v Carlisle, West Brom v Birmingham City, Tranmere v Crewe and Salford v Wrexham.

West Midlands Railway (WMR) said the impact of the strike and overtime ban means none of its train services will run on Saturday or Sunday.

There will be an amended timetable on Monday and Tuesday, with services subject to short-notice amendment or cancellation.

Jonny Wiseman, WMR customer experience director, said: “Industrial action is designed to be disruptive to passengers and it is extremely disappointing that the impact of this action means we are unable to operate any services this weekend.

“Passengers holding tickets for travel for either Saturday or Sunday will be able to use them on an alternative day or claim a full refund. Information is available on our website.

“I also urge passengers travelling during the period of the overtime ban to check their journeys before setting out as services may be subject to short-notice cancellation. I also urge passengers not to rely on late services as last trains may be earlier than usual.”

There will be no East Midlands Railway services on Saturday.

The pay and conditions dispute started in the summer of 2022 and shows no sign of being resolved.

Aslef says drivers have not had a pay rise for almost five years, including a period where many worked through the pandemic.

Train companies say working conditions have to be updated, while the government is urging the union’s leadership to ballot their members on an offer made last year.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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