Strike by train drivers has a devastating impact on service.

Another strike by drivers in the ongoing disagreement over pay will generate more travel misery for rail passengers on Friday.

Aslef members are on strike for 24 hours, causing major disruptions to 13 different operators’ schedules across the United Kingdom. These include the Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Thameslink, and TransPennine Express.

Some train companies have shortened their schedules to begin and end later than usual.
Most of the trouble is in England; the disagreement has not touched Transport for Wales or ScotRail.

Cancellations have also been reported in Scotland and Wales due to a strike by drivers for long-distance companies.

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There have been no planned negotiations or signs of a breakthrough in the disagreement, which has been going on for almost a year now.

On Saturday, drivers will join the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) in a strike over wages, working conditions, and other issues.
Both unions hold the government responsible for the failure to reach an agreement because it has not permitted train companies to make an offer that either union could endorse.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan told the PA news agency along a picket line in Euston, north London, “The feedback we get – and we talk to drivers every day – is that they’re in it for the long haul.”
To paraphrase, “there’s no sign of any weakening or any lack of resolve, and our members in many cases want to go harder and faster,” and “you’ve got to remember that some of our members, by the end of this year, will have gone five years without a pay raise.”

He said, “This is purely a political response to the dispute,” suggesting he does not foresee a resolution to the conflict very soon. This will not be fixed unless ministers stop micromanaging train companies.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which speaks for train companies, has urged that Aslef must demonstrate “movement” on reforms to working methods.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Mr. Nisbet explained why the RDG and Aslef have not held negotiations since April: “Because they will not accept that core principle.”
Finally, he said, “We are looking for movement on that.”
Mr. Nisbet had previously stated, “The main problem here at the moment with Aslef is that they won’t accept a link to changing the way that the industry runs.

Commuters aren’t returning in the numbers that they imagined, therefore the business must accept that truth and adapt.We’re asking unions to take a sober, present-minded look at things because revenues have dropped by 30%.

The company would rather not have to rely on drivers working overtime to provide Sunday services.
According to Aslef, no train company has enough drivers to operate on both Saturday and Sunday without requiring some of those drivers to work on their days off.

After taxpayers supported train workers throughout the pandemic, it is frustrating to see both Aslef and RMT coordinate their strikes to cause as much inconvenience as possible on the penultimate weekend of the summer holidays, a Department of Transport spokesperson said.Both unions have fair and acceptable offers on the table, including one that has already been accepted by RMT members working for Network Rail and would raise average train driver earnings to £65,000.

Unfortunately, this ongoing strike is delaying improvements that would be good for passengers, rail workers, and taxpayers in the long run.

The last day of public comment on controversial proposals to close most railway ticket counters is Friday, coinciding with the start of the strike.
On Thursday night, a demonstration took place in front of Downing Street.

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