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When is the following prepare strike in UK? Every thing we want about January and February disruption

The dispute between the prepare drivers’ union, Aslef, and 14 prepare operators in England is into its third calendar cyear.

With no settlement in sight to the long and bitter row over pay and dealing preparations, the union has announced its first strikes for 2024.

Train drivers belonging to Aslef will cease work region-by-region over the course of every week between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February. Thousands of trains are more likely to be cancelled on every day.

The impact will likely be exacerbated by a nine-day ban on additional time operating from 29 January to six February.

But a separate five-day strike known as by Aslef aimed particularly at LNER, between 5 and 9 February, has been known as off. A spokesperson for the prepare operator mentioned: “We welcome news that the threat of extended disruption to our services has been lifted.

“We encourage Aslef to work with us to find a way to end this long-running dispute which only damages the rail industry.”

These are the important thing questions and solutions.

Which rail companies are affected?

Aslef is in dispute with the prepare operators which might be contracted by the federal government to offer rail companies. They are:

Intercity operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossNation
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • LNER
  • TransPennine Express

London commuter operators:

  • C2C
  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway (together with the Island Line on the Isle of Wight)

Operators specializing in the Midlands and north of England:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Northern Trains
  • West Midlands Railway

ScotRail, Transport for Wales, Transport for London (together with the Elizabeth Line), Merseyrail and “open-access” operators equivalent to Grand Central, Hull Trains and Lumo aren’t concerned. But their companies are more likely to be extraordinarily crowded on stretches the place they duplicate strike-hit corporations.

What is the strike schedule?

Monday 29 January: additional time ban begins.

Tuesday 30 January: South Western Railway, Southeastern and GTR (Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink).

Wednesday 31 January: Northern and TransPennine Express.

Thursday 1 February: no strike however additional time ban continues.

Friday 2 February: Greater Anglia, C2C and LNER (the final of which has an extra strike throughout the next week).

Saturday 3 February: West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast and East Midlands Railway.

Sunday 4 February: no strike however additional time ban continues.

Monday 5 February: Great Western, CrossNation and Chiltern. LNER strike begins, operating all week to 9 February.

Tuesday 6 February: no strike however additional time ban continues for a closing day.

What are the seemingly results of the strikes?

Based on the expertise of the final rolling strikes, these are the expected results – assuming no “minimum service level” motion is taken by the transport secretary, Mark Harper.

They are primarily based on The Independent’s commentary of earlier strikes, and ought to be confirmed with particular person rail companies.

Great Northern (30 January): No trains.

Thameslink (30 January): No trains.

Southeastern (30 January): No trains.

Southern (30 January): No trains besides a nonstop shuttle service between London Victoria and Gatwick airport, from 6am to 11.30pm.

Gatwick Express (30 January): No trains however the Southern airport shuttle will cowl the bottom.

South Western Railway (30 January): A core service of as much as 4 trains per hour between London Waterloo with Woking, with one prepare every hour prolonged to each Guildford and Basingstoke. A shuttle will run from Basingstoke to Salisbury. Trains will even run between Waterloo and Feltham by way of Richmond and Twickenham. No trains on the Isle of Wight.

Northern (31 January): No trains.

TransPennine Express (31 January): No trains.

C2C (2 February): No trains

Greater Anglia (2 February): Limited service linking London Liverpool Street with Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester; Southend Victoria; Cambridge; and Stansted airport.

LNER (2 February): Regular trains on core routes linking London King’s Cross with Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Avanti West Coast (3 February): No trains. The operator is more likely to emphasis “services on the days either side of the strike will also be affected”.

East Midlands Railway (3 February): No trains. Last time the prepare agency warned: “Do Not Travel. No Rail Replacement Bus services will be provided.”

West Midlands Railway (3 February): No trains.

Chiltern (5 February): No trains.

CrossNation (5 February): No trains.

Great Western Railway (5 February): A core service will run between London Paddington and Oxford, Bath and Bristol, with a hyperlink from Bristol to Cardiff. A restricted service on department traces in Devon and Cornwall. The Night Riviera sleeper service from London to Penzance is not going to run for quite a lot of nights. The Heathrow Express can be more likely to be affected, with a diminished service between 7am and 7pm solely.

In addition to the disruption on strike days, trains on adjoining days could also be affected. Services on lately are additionally more likely to be extraordinarily busy on account of passengers transferring their journeys to keep away from industrial motion.

What in regards to the new minimal service ranges legislation?

Legislation now permits the transport secretary to stipulate minimal service ranges (MSLs) on strike days amounting to 40 per cent of the conventional service.

As far as The Independent is conscious, no prepare operator is in search of to impose the brand new legislation on the prepare drivers’ union.

The Transport Select Committee has beforehand warned of potential unintended penalties of the laws. The Conservative chair, Iain Stewart, mentioned: “There is a risk of MSLs worsening worker-employer relations and that, as a result, MSLs could end up making services less reliable.”

Is there a ‘worst day’?

Yes. In phrases of sheer variety of passengers hit, Monday 29 January would be the most disruptive. It is aimed toward commuters in southeast England, nearly all of whom use the affected prepare operators.

Intercity travellers will likely be worst affected on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 February, when the principle operators on the East Coast and West Coast primary traces, in addition to the Midland mainline, will likely be hit.

Sunday 4 February can be more likely to be severely disrupted due to the ban on rest-day working in addition to deliberate engineering work between Birmingham and Wolverhampton on the West Coast primary line and between London King’s Cross and Stevenage on the East Coast primary line.

What would be the impression of the additional time ban?

The minimal service degree guidelines don’t apply to union bans on non-contractual rest-day working.

The additional time ban alone will trigger 1000’s of cancellations. Aslef says no prepare operator “employs enough drivers to provide the service they promise passengers and businesses they will deliver without asking drivers to work their days off”.

The basic warning to passengers over the last Aslef additional time ban from 1 to 9 December 2023: “Trains are subject to short notice alterations and cancellations.”

Several rail companies introduced pre-emptive cancellations for the earlier additional time ban, as follows:

C2C: “Severely reduced service” at weekends, with many trains additionally reduce on weekdays.

Chiltern: Significantly diminished service on most routes, with no trains in any respect on some department traces. “Services on all routes will finish earlier than usual.”

Gatwick Express: No trains through the additional time ban. Southern trains will hyperlink London Victoria and Gatwick airport all through the commercial motion.

London Northwestern Railway/West Midlands Railway: Branch traces between Bletchley and Bedford, Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey, and Leamington Spa and Nuneaton, will likely be closed on most or all days.

Southern: “An amended timetable with fewer services will run. Services may start later and finish earlier than usual.”

Thameslink warned: “A reduced frequency amended timetable will be in operation.”

On the primary day, many early trains had been cancelled. They embody South Western Railway from London Waterloo to Southampton; Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Weston-super-Mare by way of Bristol and Carmarthen by way of Cardiff and Swansea; and TransPennine Express hyperlinks from Manchester and Newcastle to Edinburgh, in addition to quite a lot of Manchester-Leeds-Hull companies.

Sunday continues to be not a part of the working week at quite a lot of prepare operators, so 4 February will likely be notably disrupted by the ban on rest-day working.

Some trains could prohibit both boarding or leaving trains at sure stations to keep away from overcrowding.

What if I want to achieve an airport?

Again, these are predictions primarily based on what occurred final time.

London Heathrow remained accessible always on the Elizabeth Line and the Tube.

Passengers utilizing London Gatwick will likely be considerably affected on the primary day of strikes, Tuesday 30 January, when all Gatwick and Thameslink trains are more likely to stop. But passengers between London, Gatwick and Brighton will get a good variety of trains

London Stansted had an hourly skeleton service from the capital on Tuesday 5 December, with “service alterations” on all the opposite days of the additional time ban.

Luton airport will stay accessible by rail, no less than from London, on all days: on the Thameslink strike day, 30 January. the East Midlands Railway hyperlink will likely be operating; conversely on 3 February, when no East Midlands Railway companies are more likely to run, Thameslink will likely be working.

Birmingham airport is more likely to be inaccessible by rail, aside from Transport for Wales from Birmingham New Street, on Saturday 3 February.

Manchester airport is more likely to be inaccessible by rail, aside from an hourly hyperlink on Transport for Wales to and from central Manchester, Chester and North Wales, on Wednesday 31 January.

Will Eurostar be affected?

No, trains will proceed to run as regular between London St Pancras International and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. But connecting journeys will likely be troublesome on strike days – notably Tuesday 30 January, when Thameslink and Southeastern are out, and on Saturday 3 February when no East Midlands Railway companies are more likely to run.

What does Aslef say?

In the most recent Aslef Journal, basic secretary Mick Whelan informed members: “Train drivers are fed up and frustrated that their employers failed to negotiate in good faith, making a proposal through the Rail Delivery Group which they knew would be turned down.

“Aslef members – key workers who kept our country moving through the pandemic – are simply asking for a fair and decent deal.

“We haven’t had a meeting with Mark Harper, the transport secretary, since December 2022. We haven’t had a meeting with Huw Merriman, the rail minister, since January. And we haven’t heard from the employers since April.

“We have always said that we are prepared to come to the table but the government and TOCs need to understand that this dispute won’t be resolved by trying to bully our members into accepting worse terms and conditions of employment.”

What do the rail companies say?

A spokesperson for Rail Delivery Group mentioned: “Nobody wins when strikes impact lives and livelihoods, and they’re particularly difficult to justify at a time when taxpayers are continuing to contribute an extra £54m a week to keep services running post-Covid.

“Despite the railway’s huge financial challenge, drivers have been made an offer which would take base salaries to nearly £65,000 for a four-day week without overtime – that is well above the national average and significantly more than many of our passengers that have no option to work from home are paid.

“Instead of staging more damaging industrial action, we call on the Aslef leadership to work with us to resolve this dispute and deliver a fair deal which both rewards our people, and makes the changes needed to make services more reliable.”

What does the federal government say?

A Department for Transport spokesperson mentioned: “It’s very disappointing to see Aslef continuing to target those who travel to work, school or important medical appointments by train.

“Aslf is now the only rail union that is continuing to strike while refusing to put a fair and reasonable offer to its members. The offer that remains on the table and would bring the average train driver’s salary up to £65,000.

“The Aslef leadership should do the right thing and let their members decide their own future, instead of deciding it for them.”

What does the Labour Party say it could do if elected?

The shadow rail minister, Stephen Morgan MP, mentioned: “Labour will bring our railways back into public ownership, as contracts expire, and ensure services work in the interests of the passenger.”

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