Trains between Scotland and England to be severely disrupted in latest strike

Train services between Scotland and England will be severely disrupted on Friday when rail unions walk out on their latest strike.

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

Rail operators warned of a serious disruption, with running trains starting later and finishing much earlier than usual, usually between 7:30am and 6:30pm.

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.

David Simpson, ScotRail’s director of service delivery, said: “No ScotRail service will be affected by the upcoming strike this week.

“It is disappointing to see more widespread disruption in Britain at a time when the railway must do all it can to encourage more people to travel by rail.

“The dispute between the unions and other train operators does not involve any ScotRail staff, which means that ScotRail services will operate as normal on Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 February.”

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

He told the PA news agency: “I don’t know whether to point an accusing finger at the ineptitude of the Department for Transport (DfT) or the Rail Delivery Group.

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

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

Weller said that the attitude among Aslef members was “hardening” and that the blame lay squarely with the DfT and the train operators.

He claimed the latest offer would add a “significant” number of contract hours to the job of a train conductor.

On the question of whether Sunday work should be compulsory, he said: “We have been willing to include Sundays in the work week, but it is cheaper for companies to have drivers work overtime on Sundays.”

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: “Having made an initial offer that would have taken average driver wages from £60,000 to almost £65,000, we hoped Aslef’s leadership would be constructively involved in moving the talks forward, in instead of staging more unnecessary strikes. . We can only apologize for the interruption.

“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 a big day of industrial action on Wednesday that also included teachers, university staff, civil servants, bus drivers and security guards.

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