RMT and Aslef train strikes: CrossCountry services set to be reduced due to industrial action

CrossCountry has issued a travel warning ahead of a strike day this week as union members walk out in a series of strikes over a pay dispute.
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A railway company has issued a travel warning ahead of a strike day next week as members from union Aslef and RMT walk out over an ongoing pay dispute between railway workers and the government.

CrossCountry said there will be no train services in Leeds on Friday (May 12) as it specifically affects train drivers working for the company. The strikes will also affect other train operating companies and their services across the country, the firm said.

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On Saturday (May 13), there will also be a significantly reduced service with trains likely to be busier than usual. There is also some planned engineering works on parts of the route. This is set to cause travel chaos for those heading to the Eurovision Song Contest and a sporting event.

In addition to the changes, some train operators may have minor alterations to services on the days following the strike action. There will also be action short of a strike planned between Monday (May 15) and Saturday (May 20). Therefore, passengers are urged to check with individual operators before they set off on their journey.

Mark Goodall, Director of Service Delivery said: “The latest round of strikes are set to cause further disruption for passengers at a time when we should be focusing on rebuilding confidence in rail. While we’re doing everything we can to run as many services as possible, there will be significant disruption.

“We advise that passengers check before they travel for the latest information as well as the times of last trains and allow extra time for their journeys.”

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Over a dozen train operators’ drivers will strike on Friday (May 12), Wednesday (May 31), and Saturday (June 3). An overtime ban will also be implemented. The RMT has planned a strike for members of 14 train companies on Saturday (May 13).

Tens of millions of train passengers have had trouble getting where they need to go every day since June 2022 due to countrywide rail strikes over a complex web of conflicts involving pay, job security, and work conditions. Frequent stoppages have caused significant delays and made it impossible to plan ahead for travel.

A striking train driver wears an Aslef armband on a picket line outside Leeds railway station during joint strike action by train drivers, teachers, university staff and civil servants, in Leeds, UK, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Dominic Lipinski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)A striking train driver wears an Aslef armband on a picket line outside Leeds railway station during joint strike action by train drivers, teachers, university staff and civil servants, in Leeds, UK, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Dominic Lipinski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A striking train driver wears an Aslef armband on a picket line outside Leeds railway station during joint strike action by train drivers, teachers, university staff and civil servants, in Leeds, UK, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Dominic Lipinski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In total, the RMT, the largest rail union, has gone on strike for 24 days so far, while Aslef has gone on strike eight times. On all the strike dates, the vast majority of services in Scotland and Wales will operate normally as ScotRail and Transport for Wales are not involved in the dispute with Aslef.

CrossCountry’s changes to services 

  • One train per hour between Manchester and Birmingham International with trains also calling at Stockport, Stafford, Wolverhampton, and Birmingham New Street. Some services will extend to Oxford.
  • One train every two hours between Birmingham New Street and Oxford calling at Birmingham International, Coventry, Leamington Spa, and Banbury.
  • One train every two hours between Didcot Parkway and Basingstoke via Reading.
  • One train an hour between Birmingham New Street and York, calling at Tamworth, Burton-on-Trent, Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, and Leeds. Some services will continue through to Edinburgh.
  • Two return services from Plymouth to Gloucester via Bristol.
  • One train an hour between Bristol Temple Meads to Gloucester calling at Bristol Parkway.
  • Two trains an hour between Birmingham New Street to Leicester via Nuneaton, some services will continue through to Peterborough.
  • Due to pre-planned engineering work, there will be rail replacement buses between Gloucester and Birmingham New Street, and between Oxford and Didcot Parkway.

How to get refunds

Those who have purchased tickets on the strike day can claim for refunds. Full details are available on CrossCountry’s website.

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