Train passengers told to expect severe disruption when drivers go on strike in December

Passengers in Yorkshire are being told to expect severe disruption next week when train drivers go on strike.

Northern and TransPennine Express said no services will run on Friday, December 8 when members of the drivers’ union Aslef walk out, amid a row over pay.

Passengers are also being warned there will be cancellations and delays over the first nine days of December because drivers will refuse to work overtime.

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CrossCountry will not run any services on Thursday, December 7 and said the nine-day overtime ban “may mean short-notice changes or cancellations”.

Picture by Bruce RollinsonPicture by Bruce Rollinson
Picture by Bruce Rollinson

LNER will run a reduced timetable when its drivers strike on Saturday, December 2, but Hull Trains said its services will not be affected by the industrial action.

Businesses in Yorkshire are concerned they will lose thousands of pounds of revenue during the strikes, as fewer people will travel to do Christmas shopping and attend events.

UK Hospitality has warned the industrial action will “devastate trading during one of the busiest weeks of the year” and cost businesses across the country up to £800m.

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Aslef said drivers at 16 operating companies will walk out in December and demand their first pay rise since 2019.

But the Rail Delivery Group, which represents operators, said the industrial action is “unnecessary and avoidable” as drivers have already received a fair offer that would take their base salaries for a four-day week from £60,000 to nearly £65,000.

It comes after Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members voted to accept a deal and end an 18 month dispute over pay and conditions, which has resulted in a series of disruptive strikes.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “This strike by Aslef will have a significant impact on our customer’s ability to get where they want to be.

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“Unfortunately, our advice is that Northern customers should not attempt to travel on Friday, December 8 and should make alternative arrangements.

Kathryn O’Brien, operations Director at TPE, said: “Unfortunately, the further strike action will once again, cause severe disruption to our services, as well as those across the country.

“Sadly, we won’t be able to run any trains at all on Friday 8 December, with a very limited timetable in place on the days before and after the strike.”

Mark Goodall, CrossCountry's Service Delivery Director, has also apologised to customers for the disruption.

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“While we’re working hard to run as many services as possible over these days, there is likely to be significant disruption for people planning to travel – especially on Sunday, December 3,” he said.

“I’d ask customers to check their whole journey before setting off, especially if travelling later in the day.”