The rail industry is asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary on Saturday 1, Wednesday 5 and Saturday 8 October amid coordinated strike action by the RMT, TSSA and Aslef unions.
- With the RMT, Aslef and TSSA coordinating strike action on Saturday 1 October, only around 11% of services will operate, and in some parts of the country there will be no trains at all
- Train drivers at 14 operators are also walking out on Wednesday 5 October, meaning disruption for passengers on those routes
- The RMT is then staging another walkout on Saturday 8 October
- Special timetables for 1 and 5 October will be published on National Rail Enquiries next week, while the timetable for 8 October will be published early the following week (w/c 3 October)
- With trains starting later and finishing much earlier than usual, passengers are asked to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption, plan ahead and check when their last train will depart
As was the case for ‘strike days’ in June, July and August, thousands of specially-trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the walkouts to keep vital services running for those who need them. But Saturday 1 October will be the first time that the RMT and Aslef strike on the same day, and that means that only around 11% of services will run – compared with around 20% on a typical strike day.
A walkout by train drivers across 14 operators on Wednesday 5 October will also mean disruption for passengers on those routes. The operators impacted are Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern Trains, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
The RMT’s second strike – on Saturday 8 October – will also see a reduced rail service in operation.
Passengers are also advised that there is likely to be some disruption in the early morning of the day after each strike – Sunday 2 October, Thursday 6 October and Sunday 9 October – as workers return to duties.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “We want to give our employees a decent pay rise. It isn’t fair to ask taxpayers or passengers to fund this so we must fund it ourselves, which is achievable if the unions work with us to modernise and run the railway more efficiently.
“Our latest offer – an 8% pay rise over two years with other benefits – is affordable from within our own budget, but the RMT refuses to allow its members to vote on it. The decision by unions to strike again serves only to prolong disruption for passengers, undermine the railway’s recovery from the pandemic and ensure railway staff forgo even more of their pay unnecessarily.
“Our efforts to avert this disruption have unfortunately been in vain, so we’re asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary on strike days. Those who must travel should expect disruption and make sure they check when their last train will depart.”
Daniel Mann, Director of Industry Operations at Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes are unnecessary and damaging. They disrupt passengers’ plans, undermine struggling businesses, hit major events and harm the industry’s recovery. It is particularly disheartening that next weekend’s strike will hit the plans of thousands of runners who have trained for months to take part in the iconic London Marathon. That will also punish the many charities, large and small, who depend on sponsorship money raised by such events to support the most vulnerable in our community.
“While we have done all we can to keep some services running, passengers should only travel by rail if absolutely necessary. Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strikes on 1 October can use their ticket on the day before the booked date, or up to and including 4 October. Passengers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.”
For customers booked to travel on 5 October, the same flexibility applies on the day before the strike and they can use their tickets up to and including 7 October.
Passengers with a season ticket or who have an activated days’ worth of travel on a flexi season ticket who choose not to travel on 1 or 5 October, can claim compensation for these days through the delay repay scheme. Weekly Season Ticket holders can also claim through Delay Repay if their train is delayed or cancelled on the day, or a ‘Do Not Travel’ warning is in place.
People who need to travel on strike days and who already have a ticket should check with their train operator before they travel for advice on the flexibility of their ticket.
Passengers can also check on National Rail Enquiries or their rail operator’s website to see if their operator is affected by this industrial action.