Train strikes to spark havoc in Christmas build up as FIFTEEN lines take action - are you impacted?

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The rail union Aslef has announced the fresh set of strikes

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 16/11/2023

- 12:02

Updated: 16/11/2023

- 15:45

Train union Aslef is set to stage a fresh round of strikes

A "rolling programme" of walkouts are set to cause delays on the British rail network in the lead up to Christmas.

The fresh round of strikes have been announced by union Aslef in their long-running dispute over pay.

The walkouts are set to take place between Saturday, December 2 and Friday, December 8 with different train companies affected on each day.

Aslef said it was time for a "proper pay rise", however the action was called "wholly unnecessary" by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents operators.

A train depo

There are set to be widespread delays across the rail network


Aslef's general secretary Mick Whelan said: "Our members have spoken and we know what they think.

"Every time they vote - and they have voted overwhelmingly - for strike action in pursuit of a proper pay rise it is a clear rejection of the offer that was made in April."

However, the announcement has been criticised by UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, who said the announcement clashes with one of the most busy times for the industry.

Kate Nicholls said: “These strikes will hit hospitality businesses at the start of the critical festive period and will devastate trading during one of the busiest weeks of the year, costing the sector up to £800million.


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​Aslef's general secretary Mick Whelan said they are in pursuit of a "proper pay rise"


“The ongoing rail dispute has already cost the sector £3.5billion over the past year and a half and continues to disrupt businesses, prevent staff from working and interrupt families’ Christmas plans.

“I would urge all parties to get back round the table to resume negotiations and work urgently to reach a solution that avoids these devastating strikes, including following the lead of the RMT who have reached an agreement to avoid strikes over Christmas.

“Hospitality businesses rely on revenue made during the busy festive period to see them through the fallow months of January to March, so it’s essential strikes during December are avoided.

“The significant impact to trading that these strikes will cause reinforce the critical need for the Chancellor to extend business rates support at the Autumn Statement next week, to help businesses navigate and offset the damage of ongoing rail strikes.”

Different rail operators will be impacted throughout the strike period:

  • Saturday, December 2 at East Midlands Railway and LNER
  • Sunday, December 3 at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and West Midlands Trains
  • Tuesday, December 5 at C2C and Greater Anglia
  • Wednesday, December 6 at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR main line, SWR depot drivers, and Island Line
  • Thursday, December 7 at CrossCountry and GWR
  • Friday, December 8 at Northern and TPT
In addition to this, all members will refuse to work any overtime from Friday 1 to Saturday, December 9.
Members of the RMT union are currently being balloted on whether to accept a deal in their dispute over pay, job security and working conditions. The vote closes on November 30.

Aslef General Secretary Mick Whelan


An RDG spokesperson said the walkouts would "sadly disrupt customers and businesses ahead of the vital festive period, while further damaging the railway".

They added that the pay rise on offer was "fair and affordable".

Both Aslef and the RMT have been locked in a row with train companies over pay and working conditions.

The clash has lead to regular strikes over the past 18 months.

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