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Is there a train strike today? Why rail drivers are striking and which trains aren’t running on Friday 12 May

Train drivers across Britain have launched their latest day of strike action, with many services completely shut down.

Drivers’ union Aslef said it had rejected a “risible 4 per cent pay offer” from 16 train companies. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the train companies, said the offer was worth 8 per cent over two years.

This is the first of three days of Aslef strike action in May and June, while members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out tomorrow in a separate pay dispute.

How will trains be affected by today’s strike?

The following rail operators will not run any trains on Friday 12 May:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Gatwick Express
  • Great Northern
  • Heathrow Express
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • Northern
  • ScotRail
  • Southeastern
  • Southern
  • Thameslink
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Railway

On Great Western Railway a limited service will run, only between 7.30am and 6.30pm. The only open routes will be between: London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads; Reading and Didcot; Reading and Basingstoke; Reading and Redhill; Westbury and Swindon; Cardiff and Bristol; and Plymouth and Gunnislake.

Greater Anglia will operate a reduced service only between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge, Norwich, Southend and Stansted Airport.

LNER will only run trains between London King’s Cross and both Edinburgh and Leeds.

On South Western Railway services will be reduced between London Waterloo and Exeter, in the Romsey area, and on the suburban network. There will also be no trains on the Isle of Wight.

The Stansted Express will reduce its service to one train per hour in each direction.

The following will be running their usual timetable:

  • c2c
  • Caledonian Sleeper
  • Elizabeth line
  • Grand Central
  • Hull Trains
  • London Overground
  • Lumo
  • Merseyrail (with additional services due to Eurovision in Liverpool)
  • Transport for Wales

When are the remaining train strikes?

The RMT strike will take place on Saturday 13 May, coinciding with the Eurovision final in Liverpool. It involves rail workers at the following 14 train operators:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern
  • South Western Railway
  • Transpennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express)

Train drivers represented by Aslef will walk out again on Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June, causing similar levels of disruption to today’s action.

The 3 June strike coincides with the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley. The line between Manchester and London is served by Avanti West Coast, meaning tens of thousands of fans hoping to travel to the game will have their plans disrupted.

Why are train drivers striking?

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said train drivers had not had a pay rise at the 16 companies involved in the dispute since 2019.

He said last month: “Our executive committee met … and rejected a risible proposal we received from the RDG. The proposal – of just 4 per cent – was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10 per cent and our members at these companies have not had an increase for four years.

“The RDG, in turn, rejected our proposals to modernise Britain’s railways and help them run more efficiently, for passengers and for businesses, in the 21st century.

“Consequently, we have announced three more days of strike action on Friday 12 May, Wednesday 31 May and Saturday 3 June at the companies with which we are in dispute, and which are letting down passengers, and taxpayers, so badly.

“We are also withdrawing non-contractual overtime from Monday 15 May to Saturday 20 May inclusive, as well as on Saturday 13 May and Thursday 1 June.”

An RDG spokesperson told i: “This is disappointing news for our customers and staff, more strike action is totally unnecessary and will only heap more pressure on an industry already facing an acute financial crisis. Senselessly targeting both the final of Eurovision and the FA Cup final is disappointing for all those planning to attend.

“After many weeks of negotiations with the Aslef leadership, we made a revised and fair offer including a pay rise of 8 per cent over two years. It would have introduced overdue, common-sense improvements already in place in parts of the network, which would will see more trains running on time for passengers. Sadly, this has been rejected.

“We urge the Aslef leadership to rejoin us at the negotiating table and work with us to find a solution to the issues our industry faces and so we can give our people the pay rise we have always said we wanted to do.”

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