More strikes in ongoing disputes over compensation, jobs, and conditions are causing more travel disruptions for rail travellers.
Aslef drivers went on strike on Wednesday, which prevented numerous companies as Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Northern, and Thameslink from operating any trains.
While the Department for Transport (DfT) claimed to have “facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer,” the union’s general secretary Mick Whelan stated that no conversations aimed at resolving the heated dispute are now underway.
A strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) is scheduled for this Friday, while another Aslef walkout is scheduled for this Saturday.
The first and last train times should be checked in advance by passengers.
Joining a picket line at Newcastle station, Mr Whelan said: “There are no negotiations since they came out with yet another deal that contained all our ‘red lines’.
“If you spend months in a room, tell people things aren’t acceptable to you, then they produce a deal that contains those things then they are setting the deal up to fail.
“That is a deliberate act on behalf of both the Government and the people that we’re dealing with.
“They do not apparently want a resolution.”
He added: “They seem to want (a) thousands of percent productivity (increase) for a 20% pay cut.”
Services are expected to start later and end much earlier than usual – typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm – due to the strikes, which are affecting 15 railway companies.
According to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), there are fewer trains overall, differences within the network, and even no trains in some places.
On the day of the RMT strike, almost half of the network will be offline while only about 50% of regular services are available.
Around 40% of trains will run during Aslef strike days, however there will be significant regional variances.
On the days before each strike, evening services on some lines are impacted.
On Thursday, Aslef also begins a prohibition on overtime at 15 train operating companies, which might pose problems, particularly in and out of London.
Football fans traveling to London for the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United on Saturday at Wembley Stadium will be impacted by the strike.
on is not suggested for fans who want to take the train from Manchester to the game to attempt on that day.
Due to the RMT strike, there will be a reduced service on Friday.
The annual Epsom Derby, Beyonce’s Renaissance global tour concert at Tottenham’s stadium, and cricket fans traveling to watch the England vs. Ireland Test match at Lord’s will all be impacted by the Saturday labor unrest along with more than 100,000 other people.
An RDG spokesperson said: “The upcoming rail strikes called by the Aslef and RMT leadership will not only affect our passengers’ daily commute, but will also impact those travelling to and from the FA Cup final and other events across the country, causing disappointment and frustration for tens of thousands of people.
“It will also inconvenience families who have been looking forward and have planned their half-term holidays. It will also further burden our people who have already lost thousands of pounds at a time of financial strain.
“We understand the impact of these strikes on individuals and businesses alike, and we can only apologise for this unnecessary and damaging disruption.
“While we are doing all we can to keep trains running, unfortunately there will be reduced train services between Wednesday May 31 and Saturday June 3, so our advice is to check before you travel.
“Passengers with advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.”
According to the unions, no compensation offer has been made that they can suggest to their members.
Officials claim that both the public and the working class continue to strongly favour industrial action.
According to Aslef, train drivers haven’t received a pay raise in four years.
Ministers dispute the claims made by both unions that the Government is blocking the train companies from making a reasonable offer.
A DfT spokesperson said: “These strikes have been co-ordinated by union leaders to disrupt passengers in a week which will see major events such as the first ever all Manchester FA Cup final, the Epsom Derby and a number of concerts and festivals across the UK.
“Not content with impacting the hundreds of thousands of people who have looked forward to these events all year round, unions are also targeting their own members’ pockets by forcing them to miss out on pay every time they strike.
“The Government has facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer, now union leaders must do the right thing and put this to their members.”