Train strikes will cause widespread travel misery as drivers walk out for the second time this week

Train passengers are facing new travel chaos today as train drivers stage another strike that leaves much of the country without services around the clock.

Aslef members and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will drop a long-running dispute over wages and conditions.

The operators said there would be a serious disruption, as running trains will start later and finish much earlier than usual, usually between 7:30am and 6:30pm.

Saturday morning services are also expected to be affected.

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The rail industry has criticized the rejection of an offer that would give drivers an 8% pay increase over two years, raising average wages from almost £60,000 a year to almost £65,000.

Simon Weller, Aslef’s assistant general secretary, said the dispute was going “backward” due to a lack of progress in months of talks.

“I don’t know whether to point an accusing finger at the ineptitude of the Department of Transport or the Rail Delivery Group.

“We would have a hard time recommending an agreement on a 4% wage increase last year and 4% this year if there were no conditions, but we are being asked to forego collective bargaining and accept a no-strike agreement.

“Obviously it was going to be rejected, it was designed to fail.”

A Rail Delivery Group spokesman said: “To minimize the impact of Aslef’s action, we advise passengers to check before they travel, allow more time and find out when their first and last train will depart.”

It will be the second strike by train drivers this week, after they took part in the big day of industrial action on Wednesday.

Other professions that withdrew were teachers, university staff, civil servants, bus drivers and security guards.

Around 1,900 Unite members who work as bus drivers for Abellio in London will complete a three-day strike on Friday in a separate pay dispute.

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Meanwhile, train services between Scotland and England will be severely affected by the strike.

Cross-border services operated by CrossCountry, Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast will not operate on Friday.

LNER said it will run a modified service and Lumo, which runs trains between Edinburgh and London, said it will try to run as many services as possible.

No LNER trains will run further north than Edinburgh, and trains between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross will start later and finish earlier than usual.

ScotRail has assured customers that all services will operate as normal this week.

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