Rail passengers have been warned of nationwide travel disruptions next weekend as train drivers at nine companies go on strike over pay that is inconsistent with the soaring cost of living.

The Aslef train drivers’ union announced last week that its members had voted overwhelmingly to take a second wave of industrial action next Saturday, insisting that a strike “is always a last resort.” “.

Industry leaders warn the walk out will coincide with a busy weekend for football, with Premier League matches in Manchester, London, Birmingham and Brighton likely to be affected.

The strikes will affect Arriva Rail London, Avanti West Coast, Crosscountry, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, South East and West Midlands Trains.

The schedule will be announced on Tuesday, but passengers are advised to follow the latest travel advice, check before departure and give their journey extra time.

Other companies not involved in the strike will run trains, but these companies are expected to be busy and passengers should start their journeys later the next day if possible.

Passengers with tickets in advance, off-peak or at any time affected by the strike may use their ticket the day before the date indicated on the ticket, or up to and including August 16, or may redeem it. tickets to travel on an alternate date, or get a refund if their train is canceled or rescheduled.

Union general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We don’t want to inconvenience our passengers – our friends and family also use public transport – and we don’t want to lose money due to the strike. , but we were forced to do so. positions of companies, who said they were promoted by the Tory government. “

But Steve Montgomery, chairman of the Rail Delivery Group – which represents rail operators – called on the union to stop the strike action and said he was “ready and willing to talk to Aslef’s management today, tomorrow or really anytime next week”.

Mr Montgomery said: “We are deeply disappointed that Aslef management has decided for the second time in as many weeks to further destabilize passengers and business by disrupting passengers’ weekend plans.

He added: “Like any service or business, things don’t stop there and we have to move with time. We want to raise everyone’s wages because we know that everyone is having a hard time due to the rising cost of living.

“We had to find the money somewhere because we couldn’t keep asking taxpayers or passengers any more, so we had to modernize and adapt to changes in passenger behavior.

“By making these necessary reforms, such as ending our reliance on weekend volunteers, we improve punctuality, have more flexible Sunday services, and use use that savings to raise people’s wages, which we’ve always wanted to do.

“Further strikes will drain our people of their pockets and mean less money to fund a raise, so we urge Aslef leadership to come and talk to us. us so we can strike a deal that’s fair to employees and taxpayers, and this ensures a bright, long-term future for our railroads. “

In addition to the industrial action next weekend, further strikes by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) unions, the Transportation Workers’ Association (TSSA) and Unite have been announced. announced on August 18 and 20 on ongoing disputes over wages, job security and conditions.

Announcing those strikes, Manuel Cortes, Secretary General of the TSSA said warnings of a “summer of discontent” on the country’s rail network were “a reality that is getting closer and closer”.

He has urged Grant Shapps to “come to the table in person or empower train operators to strike a deal” – a move the transport secretary has ruled out.

A separate RMT walk on the London Underground will also take place on August 19.

PA . supplementary report