More rail strike misery on the way for Leicestershire – Leicestershire …
Strike action means there will be two days with no East Midlands Railway trains running at all this week, with further days affected. Both Wednesday, May 31, and Saturday, June 3, will have no services running from Leicester to either London or the north because of the Aslef train drivers' industrial action.
Thursday, meanwhile, will not see an actual strike, but there could be last-minute cancellations and alterations to the timetable. On Friday, there will be a strike, but it is only affecting RMT union members. East Midlands Railway has said it expects a limited timetable that day, and is warning people to avoid using trains if they can.
Any trains the company does operate on Friday, June 2, will only be between 07.30am and 6.30pm, while engineering works further up north will mean southbound services to London will start at Derby, rather than Sheffield, before heading south to Leicester and London - although CrossCountry trains from Sheffield to Derby will be available.
Will Rogers, managing director of East Midlands Railway, said: "Unfortunately, we will be unable to run any services next Wednesday and Saturday and only a limited number on Friday. On Friday, we are advising customers to plan ahead and only travel by rail if absolutely necessary and understand how the engineering works north of Derby affect their journey. Customers are also strongly advised to check when the time of their last train is before setting off."
CrossCountry, which runs the services from Leicester to Birmingham, Peterborough, Ely, Cambridge and Stansted, will also have no trains on Wednesday or Saturday, and a reduced service on Friday.
The strikes coincide with many people's half-term holidays, and the FA Cup. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents all private train companies, criticised the strikes. A spokesperson said: “The upcoming rail strikes called by the Aslef and RMT leadership will not only affect our passengers’ daily commute, but will also impact those travelling from to the FA Cup final and other events across the country, causing disappointment and frustration for tens of thousands of people.
“It will also inconvenience families who have been looking forward and have planned their half-term holidays. It will also further burden our people who have already lost thousands of pounds at a time of financial strain."
The unions say they have not been given a pay offer they can recommend to their members, and that support for industrial action remained strong among workers as well as the public.
Aslef said train drivers have not had a pay rise for four years, and both Aslef and GMT have accused the government of preventing train companies from making an acceptable offer to staff, which ministers deny.
How East Midlands RailwayServices will be affected by the strikes
Wednesday, May 31
- No services will run
Thursday, June 1
- Action short of a strike is taking place by the ASLEF Union. Possible short notice cancellations or alterations.
Friday, June 2
Customers are advised to only travel if necessary. EMR services will operate between 0730 and 1830 only, with fewer trains and no bus replacement services being provided. Strike action will affect other routes across the country. Customers are advised to check their full journey before travelling.
Saturday, June 3
- No services will run
It is expected that services will run according to the usual timetable again on Sunday.