Almost no trains will run in England on Friday as drivers strike

Members of Aslef union to stage second 24-hour strike this week in long-running pay dispute

No trains will run across most of England on Friday as drivers in the Aslef union stage their second 24-hour strike this week.

Drivers will strike as part of the long-running pay dispute at 14 train operating companies, leaving passengers facing disruption around Britain.

Most of the biggest operators have said they will be unable to run any trains throughout the day.

Passengers have been told to check before attempting to travel, with potential disruption to the remaining skeleton services on Greater Anglia, LNER and GWR.

Most drivers are not on strike at South Western Railway, which hopes to run a full service, while action is not being taken at C2C or Merseyrail.

Trains run by Transport for London, Scotrail and Transport for Wales are not affected after the devolved authorities settled pay claims with unions. However, mainline services running to and from London will be severely disrupted.

Rail firms warned that morning services on many lines may also be disrupted on Saturday, as trains may be out of position after the strike.

The eighth day of national action by Aslef follows a similar 24-hour strike on Wednesday. No further strikes are scheduled by any rail union, although Aslef warned that more dates could be announced, saying this week that negotiations in the pay dispute had “gone backwards”.

Aslef rejected an initial offer last month by negotiators from the train operators body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), of 8% over two years with strings attached, which the union’s assistant general secretary, Simon Weller, said was “designed to fail”.

He said members had been angered by the offer, running far below inflation, and were pressing union leaders to take stronger industrial action.

Other unions may however be closer to settling. The RMT, whose members have staged the majority of the national strikes in the last year – costing the industry about £480m in lost ticket revenue, according to the RDG – is considering a revised offer from Network Rail.

Network Rail, which is responsible for Britain’s railway infrastructure, told staff this week that it had added fresh proposals in a written offer to the union, although the overall amount of money is understood to have not changed from the deal rejected by RMT members in a referendum before Christmas.

The RMT said it would consult with members in local branches on the detail of the offer.


Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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