Half-term family travel at most schools in England will be affected by the next series of national rail strikes.
Both major rail unions have called for shutdowns during the extended break from May 27 to June 4.
On Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June, Aslef train drivers will stop working at more than a dozen operators, including all the major commuter rail and long distance companies.
RMT has called for a strike by working members at 14 train operators on Friday 2nd June.
This time means services may be disrupted from late Tuesday, May 30 to Sunday morning, June 4.
The drivers’ first leg on June 3 coincides with the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City, which will be held at Wembley in northwest London.
Normally, tens of thousands of fans would travel by rail to the match. It will also affect riders going to the Epsom Derby.
Since June 2022, strikes by the national rail industry in a tangle of disputes over wages, job security and work arrangements have caused problems for tens of millions of train passengers. The stops were called frequently, causing major disruption and making advance travel planning difficult.
The main rail union, RMT, has been on strike for 24 days amid the current wave of strikes, with Aslef having to stop work eight times before.
These are the key questions and answers.
Who is featured and when?
Aslef has instructed all crew members working for 16 ship operators to go on strike on Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June.
Training companies are companies that contract with the Ministry of Transport. These include the leading intercity operators:
- West Bank Avanti
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- Cross Pennine Express
The majority of commuter operators in London will also be affected:
- Anglia is bigger
- GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
- South East
- Southwest Railway
Operators focused on the Midlands and the north of England will be affected:
- Chiltern Railway
- northern train
- West Midlands Train
There will also be a ban on “non-contractual overtime” on Thursday, June 1.
The RMT union has called for members to go on strike on Friday 2 June. The same train operators will join – with the addition of c2c, which runs from the City of London to south Essex.
What will be the effect?
During many of the RMT’s previous strikes, signalers working for Network Rail walked out and shut down at least half of the rail system. They are now stable, so the network’s infrastructure will be open as usual.
However, on each strike day, thousands of trains will be canceled, ruining the travel plans of millions of passengers.
The impact of driver abandonment and RMT will be different.
During previous driver strikes, some operators – such as Avanti West Coast and Southeastern – canceled all trains.
Others have run a core service on core routes. On GWR, for example, travelers can expect a basic service from London Paddington to and from Bristol Temple Meads and Cardiff Centre.
The removal of RMT is expected to have less impact. GWR will likely run a more extensive timetable, including to and from Exeter and Plymouth.
Avanti West Coast will run a basic service, with one train per hour from Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow to London Euston.
LNER is likely to aim to run up to 40% of regular services on the East Coast mainline, with a focus on the London King’s Cross-York-Newcastle-Edinburgh axis.
On all strike days, the majority of services in Scotland and Wales will operate as normal as ScotRail and Transport for Wales are not involved in the dispute with Aslef.
Trains operated by these companies are likely to be busier than usual on lines normally shared with train operators with staff on strike, such as London-York-Newcastle-Edinburgh and Swansea -Cardiff-Newport.
Passengers can also expect casual service on:
- Caledonian Sleepers
- Big Center
- Express Heathrow
- Hull train
- London on the ground
The ban on drivers working overtime is likely to particularly affect long-haul train operators such as Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express.
In addition, some evening services before the strike and early morning trains after the strike will be cancelled.
Eurostar will be affected?
No, but connections to and from the train operator’s main hub at London St Pancras International will be difficult as union members work for all three domestic train operators (East Midlands Railway, East Nam and Thameslink) serving the station will be leaving.
Why is Aslef taking industrial action?
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “We don’t want to go on strike. We don’t want to inconvenience our passengers, we have family and friends who also use the rail and we believe in investing in rail for the future of this country.
“But the responsibility for this action, fairly and frankly, lies with the employers who forced us to hand this over with their indifference.
“The proposal – only 4% – is clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still at 10% and our membership at these companies has not increased in four years.”
Mr Whelan said the companies involved were “disappointing passengers and taxpayers” and that “proposals to modernize UK railways and make them more efficient” had been rejected.
A spokesman for Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said: “This is disappointing news for our customers and employees, adding strike action is completely unnecessary. necessary and will only put more pressure on an industry already facing a severe financial crisis.
“Pointlessly targeting both the Eurovision final and the FA Cup final is disappointing for all those planning to attend.
“After weeks of negotiations with Aslef management, we have come up with a revised and fair offer that includes an 8% pay rise for two years. It will introduce long-standing, common sense improvements in parts of the network, which will result in more trains running on time for passengers. Sadly, this was denied.”
Why does RMT stand out?
The Rail Transit Group (RDG), which represents train operators, made salary proposals that RMT said it could not accept.
The union’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “The government again did not allow Rail Delivery Group to make an improvement proposal that we could consider.
“So we have to pursue our industry campaign to win a negotiated agreement on employment, wages and conditions.
“Ministers cannot just expect this dispute to go away. They underestimate the power of feeling our members, who have just given us a new six-month strike mission, continue to support the campaign and take action and are determined to look into this for until we get an acceptable solution.
“The government now needs to unlock the RDG and allow them to make a referendumable offer to our members.”
A spokesperson for Rail Delivery Group said: “In recent discussions with RMT, we have continued to support the fair, industry-level dispute resolution proposal agreed with their negotiating team, this will resolve this dispute and give us the lowest payout. employees increased up to 13 percent.
“By calling for more strike action, RMT leadership chose to prolong this dispute without ever giving their members a chance to have a say on their own offer.
“Instead, they will lose more money as a result of industrial action, customers will experience more disruption, and the industry will continue to suffer massive losses at a time when the railroad is taking more than its fair share from taxpayers. taxes to keep trains running. post-Covid.
“We remain open and ready to engage in national negotiations that can secure higher wages for our people and the long-term future of an industry vital to the UK economy.”
What does the government say?
Ministers will sign off on the final settlement, most of which will be paid for by taxpayers.
Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said ahead of the most recent strike: “Passengers have been forced to endure strike action by RMT for almost a year, but RMT executives intend to continue to force its members lose more money.
“That is despite having the last and best offer, similar to the paid offer that their Network Rail members recently overwhelmingly voted to accept.”
Can strikes be cancelled?
It is the animosity between the parties that seems most unlikely.
I booked a ticket for one of the strike days. What can I do?
Passengers who purchase tickets in advance, anytime tickets or off-peak tickets can get a refund at no cost if the train on which the ticket has been booked is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.
Train operators have the ability to provide the flexibility to travel for days without a strike.
Non-traveling season ticket holders can claim for strike days through Delayed Payment.
What are the alternatives?
As always, the long-haul bus operators – National Express, Megabus and Flixbus – will continue to operate, although seats are becoming scarce and fares are rising.
On the day of the FA Cup Final, the National Express offers round-trip tickets from Manchester to Wembley Stadium for £54.