When are the next train strikes? Everything you need to know about July 2023 rail walkouts

Over a yr on from the begin of the first nationwide rail strikes since the Eighties, the dispute over pay, jobs and dealing circumstances seems as intractable as ever.

The principle rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef, have each introduced industrial motion throughout July that may hit greater than a dozen train operators based mostly in England; a few of which run providers in Wales and Scotland. Transport for Wales and ScotRail are not concerned and can run regular providers.

The unions say their members haven’t had a pay rise for 4 years and are demanding an honest, no-strings award that takes under consideration the excessive degree of inflation.

Train operators and ministers – who should log out any deal – say reforms are important following the collapse of rail income, which they are saying is 30 per cent decrease than earlier than the Covid pandemic.

Caught in the center: the long-suffering passenger. Since June 2022, nationwide rail strikes have brought on issues for tens of thousands and thousands of train passengers. Stoppages have been known as continuously, inflicting huge disruption and making advance journey planning troublesome.

These are the key questions and solutions.

Who’s taking industrial motion, and when?

The RMT, which started placing on 21 June 2022, has known as three extra days of walk-outs in July: Thursday 20, Saturday 22 and Saturday 29.

The strikes, which the union says will see 20,000 employees strolling out, are aimed toward train corporations contracted by the Division for Transport. They embody the main intercity operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Nice Western Railway
  • LNER
  • TransPennine Categorical

Most London commuter operators will likely be hit:

  • C2C
  • Larger Anglia
  • GTR (Gatwick Categorical, Nice Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway

Operators specializing in the Midlands and north of England will likely be affected:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Northern Trains
  • West Midlands Trains

Aslef has banned extra time at the similar train operators (besides C2C) from 2 to 6 July inclusive.

Why had been these dates chosen?

Like all unions, the RMT and Aslef are in search of the largest impression – ie to trigger as a lot disruption as they’ll. Aslef’s extra time ban coincides with the first week of the Wimbledon tennis championships in southwest London.

The RMT union is concentrating on what are doubtless to be the busiest days of the month. Many households will likely be on the transfer at the begin of college holidays on 20 and 22 July; these dates additionally fall throughout the fourth Ashes Check at Previous Trafford in Manchester and the Open golf championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership.

The 29 July strike will hit journeys to and from vacation resorts in addition to cricket followers travelling to London for the fifth Ashes Check at the Oval.

Nigel Harris, editor of Rail journal, described the announcement as “monumentally miserable”.

Why are they placing?

The forthcoming industrial motion is a part of an extended and bitter dispute over pay and dealing preparations that started in June 2022.

The RMT normal secretary Mick Lynch has described the newest supply from the train operators – represented by the Rail Supply Group (RDG) – as “substandard”. He stated: “This newest part of motion will present the nation simply how essential railway employees are to the working of the rail trade.

”The federal government continues to shackle the corporations and won’t permit them to put ahead a bundle that may settle this dispute.

“RMT will proceed its industrial marketing campaign till we attain a negotiated settlement on pay, working circumstances and job safety.

The RMT has staged walk-outs on 28 days in the present wave of strikes, with Aslef stopping work on 13 earlier events.

What’s the doubtless impact of the RMT strike?

On every of the strike days, 1000’s of trains will likely be cancelled, wrecking journey plans for thousands and thousands of passengers. Some traces will see no providers, and the place trains are working they are doubtless to begin later, be much less frequent and end sooner than regular.

All operators are doubtless to run some trains. LNER will run a daily service on the East Coast fundamental line between London and Edinburgh through Yorkshire and northeast England, whereas Avanti West Coast will likely be working a primary service, with one train an hour from every of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow to London Euston.

Nice Western Railway will run between London Paddington, South Wales (so far as Cardiff Central) and Devon.

Shorter distance providers round the large cities are doubtless to be arduous hit.

Passengers can count on regular service on:

  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • Grand Central
  • Heathrow Categorical
  • Hull Trains
  • London Overground
  • Lumo
  • Merseyrail
  • ScotRail
  • Transport for Wales

Will airport trains run?

Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester airports can have some trains.

Heathrow Airport is served by the Heathrow Categorical and Elizabeth Line, in addition to the London Underground.

Stansted Airport is probably going to have trains to and from London Liverpool Avenue each hour from round 7am till the night.

Will Eurostar be affected?

No, however connections to and from the train operator’s fundamental hub at London St Pancras Worldwide will likely be troublesome as a result of union members working for all three home train operators at the station (East Midlands Railway, Southeastern and Thameslink) serving the station will stroll out.

Why is Aslef taking industrial motion?

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s normal secretary, stated: “As soon as once more we discover ourselves with no different however to take this motion. We’ve got regularly come to the negotiating desk in good religion, in search of to resolve the dispute.

“Sadly, it’s clear from the actions of each the train working corporations and the authorities that they don’t need an finish to the dispute. Their objectives seem to be to proceed industrial strife and to do down our trade.

“We do not need to inconvenience the public. We simply need to see our members paid pretty throughout a price of residing disaster when inflation is working at above 10 per cent, and to not see our phrases and circumstances taken away.

“It’s time for the authorities and the corporations to assume once more and search for a decision.”

What do the train operators say?

A spokesman for the RDG stated: “Extra strikes are completely pointless. After a yr of business motion all the RMT has achieved is shedding their members extra money than they might have acquired in the pay presents they refused to put to put out to a vote, regardless of having agreed the phrases with the negotiators the room.

“We’ve got now made three presents that the RMT government have blocked and not using a convincing rationalization. We stay open to talks and now we have stated repeatedly that we wish to give our folks a pay rise.

“However till the union management and government is united in what it desires and engages in good religion with the 30 per cent shortfall in income the trade is constant to grapple with post-Covid, it’s troublesome to transfer ahead.

“Sadly our employees, our clients and the communities throughout the nation which depend on a thriving railway are the ones that are struggling consequently.”

What does the authorities say?

A spokesperson for the Division for Transport stated: “The RMT management’s determination to name strikes concentrating on two iconic worldwide sporting occasions, as youngsters and households start their summer season holidays, will disrupt folks’s plans throughout the nation.

“After a yr of business motion, passengers and rail employees alike are rising bored with union bosses enjoying politics with their lives.

“It’s excessive time the union leaders realised that strikes not have the impression they as soon as did and are merely driving folks away from the railway.”

May the strikes be known as off?

Such is the antipathy between the events that it appears impossible.

I’ve a ticket booked for one in every of the strike days. What can I do?

Passengers with Advance, Anytime or Off-Peak tickets can have their ticket refunded with no price if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.

Train operators are doubtless to supply flexibility to journey on a variety of non-strike days.

Passengers with season tickets who don’t journey can declare compensation for the strike dates by Delay Repay.

What are the options?

As all the time, long-distance coach operators – Nationwide Categorical, Megabus and Flixbus – will preserve working, although seats are turning into scarce and fares are rising.

What impact will the Aslef extra time ban have?

It’s going to differ from one rail agency to one other. The variety of train cancellations will replicate the dependence on extra time at the explicit operator, and likewise illness ranges on the day.

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