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Look out for journey disruptions in the first week of October
With so many rail strikes taking place this year, it is hard to keep up with when they are happening and how it might affect you. Last weekend, runners and supports of the London Half Marathon were impacted due to the strike. This week, another set of strikes are on their way, so we have rounded up everything you need to know to help you work out whether your journey will be smooth sailing or to be avoided at all costs.
Train strikes will take place on Wednesday 5th and Saturday 8th of October. The widespread strikes this week come following those that were supposed to take place back in September, but were cancelled out of respect following the Queen’s death. National rail have said it was “inevitable that services will be cancelled or severely disrupted”. So, should you risk it?
If you are travelling on the London Underground, and the Elizabeth Line make sure to double check your route, as they are both due to be disrupted this week as part of RMT and ASLEF union strikes. A timetable has been put in place by the National Rail ahead of time, which encourages passengers to not attempt travel by train on Wednesday 5 October, as there will be no Southeastern services running.
So make sure to give yourself some extra time, plan your journey and remember the following day might be disrupted in the morning too.
Which trains are affected?
Fourteen different transport operators will be affected on Wednesday 5th October and Saturday 8th October.
- West Midlands Trains
- South Western (Saturday 10th October)
- Great Western
- Chiltern Railways
- Avanti West Coast
- C2C (Saturday 10th October)
- Greater Anglia
- East Midlands Railway
- Govia Thameslink Railway. Remember: this includes the Gatwick Express and Network Rail (Wednesday 5th October)
- Transpennine Express
- Hull Trains (Wednesday 5th October)
Why are the train strikes happening?
The different unions are striking on different days for multiple reasons. The most prominent reason for industrial action, is the issue of pay. Drivers are facing long term pay cuts amid the cost of living crisis.
A reduction of staff jobs in stations and other support roles and working conditions make up some of the reasons for the strike action this week.
“Working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high,” the RMT’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, said.
Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “To be faced with a three-year pay freeze during the worst cost of living crisis in decades is disgraceful.”
While the director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group, Daniel Mann insists, “These strikes are unnecessary and damaging. They disrupt passengers’ plans, undermine struggling businesses, hit major events and harm the industry’s recovery.”
When will the rail strikes end?
No one quite knows for sure yet, it all depends on whether the unions and operators can come to an agreement. Which (fingers crossed) could come quicker than we thought. Although new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Mr Lynch seem to have got on in their first meeting, with Lynch describing their meeting as “positive”, so there is hope for both rail workers and commuters alike.
If your train is cancelled, rescheduled or delayed. According to National Rai, you are entitled to a refund from the retailer where you bought the ticket.
We will continue to update this story.