9th February 2023
Woman looks at rail departures boardGetty Images

People returning to work this week after the Christmas break are being urged to avoid travelling by rail because of strikes.

The walkouts by RMT members on 3-4 and 6-7 January, and by Aslef drivers on 5 January, will “significantly impact” services, said Network Rail.

RMT union members have rejected offers in a dispute over pay, job security and working conditions.

Train drivers at 15 rail companies, in the Aslef union, are striking over pay.

Network Rail – which maintains the rails, signals and stations – said the combination of strikes will result in only about 20% of services running, with many areas not seeing any trains at all.

Services across England, Scotland and Wales could be affected by the strikes.

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“We’re sorry to have to, once again, ask passengers to avoid using the railway this week,” a spokesperson from Network Rail said.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the train operating companies, also urged people only to travel if “absolutely necessary”.

Trains that do run will start later and finish much earlier than usual, with services typically running between 7:30am and 6.30pm on the days of the strike.

There may also be some knock-on disruption to services on 8 January.

Passengers are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys and to check before they travel.

It is the latest in a series of strikes across the rail network, which have caused major disruption.

The two 48-hour walkouts on Tuesday and Friday involve around 40,000 RMT members on Network Rail and 14 train operators.

The RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch insisted that his members wanted a settlement, not further disruption.

“There’s been too much disruption on the railway caused by government policy and if we can get sensible proposals we can work up towards a solution,” Mr Lynch told the BBC.

He accused government ministers of “sitting on their hands” and failing to help secure a deal.

“They keep saying that they’re facilitating a deal. And I think it’s absolutely the opposite to that.”

However, a Department for Transport spokesperson rejected this, saying: “The government has demonstrated it is being reasonable and stands ready to facilitate a resolution to rail disputes.

“It’s time the unions came to the table and played their part as well.”

Meanwhile, Network Rail said the deal it has put forward to the RMT is “fair and reasonable”, and urged the union to “sit down with us” and revisit it.

Upcoming strike action

Rail disruption continues

  • Staff at West Midlands Trains (WMT) and Great Western Railway (GWR) are on strike until midday
  • This includes staff working in ticket offices, station management and guards

Border Force strikes

  • Some Border Force staff are striking in England, Wales and Scotland meaning delays are likely for people arriving in the UK
  • Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven, will be affected

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in the East Midlands, West Midlands, east of England and parts of London
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Possible road disruption

  • Some National Highways traffic officers are on strike in the West Midlands and south-west England
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Border Force strikes

  • Some Border Force staff are striking in England, Wales and Scotland meaning delays are likely for people arriving in the UK
  • Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven, will be affected

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in the East Midlands, West Midlands, east of England and parts of London
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Possible road disruption

  • Some National Highways traffic officers are on strike in the West Midlands and south-west England
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Bus drivers on strike

  • Bus drivers in London are taking industrial action
  • The routes affected are mostly in south and west London

Border Force strikes

  • Some Border Force staff are striking in England, Wales and Scotland meaning delays are likely for people arriving in the UK
  • Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven, will be affected

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in the East Midlands, West Midlands, east of England and parts of London
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

There are currently no national strikes planned for this date

There are currently no national strikes planned for this date

Rail disruption continues

  • The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are on strike
  • The RMT strike will affect services in England, Scotland and Wales and people are being advised to avoid travelling if possible

Read more: What are the train strikes about?


Possible road disruption

  • All National Highways traffic officers across England are on strike
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in the East Midlands, West Midlands, east of England and parts of London
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Rail disruption continues

  • The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are on strike
  • The RMT strike will affect services in England, Scotland and Wales and people are being advised to avoid travelling if possible

Read more: What are the train strikes about?


Bus drivers on strike

  • Bus drivers in London are taking industrial action
  • The routes affected are mostly in south and west London

Possible road disruption

  • All National Highways traffic officers across England are on strike
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Rail disruption continues

  • Train drivers across 15 rail companies represented by the Aslef union are on strike
  • The rail companies affected are: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Northern/Thameslink, London North Eastern Railway, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway, SWR Island Line, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains

Read more: What are the train strikes about?


Bus drivers on strike

  • Bus drivers in London are taking industrial action
  • The routes affected are mostly in south and west London

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Rail disruption continues

  • The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are on strike
  • The RMT strike will affect services in England, Scotland and Wales and people are being advised to avoid travelling if possible

Read more: What are the train strikes about?


Possible road disruption

  • Some National Highways traffic officers are on strike in the East Midlands and eastern England
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Rail disruption continues

  • The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are on strike
  • The RMT strike will affect services in England, Scotland and Wales and people are being advised to avoid travelling if possible

Read more: What are the train strikes about?


Possible road disruption

  • Some National Highways traffic officers are on strike in the East Midlands and eastern England
  • The strike involves control centre staff and traffic officers who deal with the aftermath of accidents

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Bus drivers on strike

  • Bus drivers in London are taking industrial action
  • The routes affected are mostly in south and west London

Teachers in Scotland

  • Some primary school teachers in Scotland are on strike
  • Members of the NASUWT union are taking action as part of an ongoing dispute over pay

Read more: Which schools will teachers’ strikes affect?


Driving test centre strikes

  • Some driving examiners are on strike in London, south-east and south-west England and Wales
  • The industrial action will not affect theory tests but might have an impact on practical exams

Ambulance staff on strike

  • Ambulance staff in London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West of England are on strike
  • The strike affects non-life threatening calls only and people are advised to use the 999 service in an emergency

Read more: Why are ambulance staff striking?


Teachers in Scotland

  • Some secondary school teachers in Scotland are on strike
  • Members of the NASUWT union are taking action as part of an ongoing dispute over pay

Read more: Which schools will teachers’ strikes affect?

Bus drivers on strike

  • Bus drivers in London are taking industrial action
  • The routes affected are mostly in south and west London

There are currently no national strikes planned for this date

There are currently no national strikes planned for this date

There are currently no national strikes planned for this date

Separately, the Aslef strike involves train drivers across 15 rail companies.

The one-day strike will result in even fewer services running, with some operators expected to run “very significantly reduced timetables”, the RDG warned.

The Aslef union said it had been pushed into taking action because the train companies had not put forward an offer.

“Six months after we had the temerity to ask for a pay rise for train drivers who have, now, not had an increase for nearly four years, we have still not had an offer from the train companies which employ us,” Keith Richmond, Aslef’s spokesman, told the BBC.

“The companies, or the government which stands behind them, could end this dispute now by making a serious and sensible pay offer. It is up to them.”

Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at the RDG, said no-one wanted to see the strikes go ahead.

“This dispute will only be resolved by agreeing the long-overdue reforms to working arrangements needed to put the industry on a sustainable footing, rather than unions condemning their members to losing more pay in the new year.”

The rail industry is under pressure to save money after the pandemic left a hole in its finances. Bosses say reforms need to be agreed to afford pay increases and modernise the railway.

But unions say salaries should increase to reflect the rising cost of living.

The rail strikes come at a time of widespread industry walkouts across the country.

Ambulance drivers, nurses, driving examiners, highway workers and postal workers have all gone on strike in recent weeks.

Strike calendar

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