Train strikes latest LIVE: Tube line delays as commuters hit by third day of travel chaos

Passengers look at the train schedule at a station in London on Wednesday  (AP)
Passengers look at the train schedule at a station in London on Wednesday (AP)

Rail passengers are suffering a third consecutive day of travel disruption because of a strike by train drivers.

Services are being crippled by the walkout by members of Aslef at 15 rail companies in a long-running dispute over pay, with some areas having no trains all day.

The action follows a 48-hour strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) which led to widespread disruption across the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The latest wave of industrial action comes as reports suggest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could announce legislation to enforce minimum service levels during strikes as soon as Thursday.

The effects of the RMT’s latest walkout was still being felt on TfL services on Thursday morning. On the Tube, the Circle line was suffering severe delays due to the strike, while the Elizabeth Line was not running trains between Paddington and Heathrow/Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. London Overground services were also severely affected.

The RMT is staging another 48-hour strike from Friday in its bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

‘Damaging dispute’

07:52 , Will Mata

The Department for Transport is predictably not impressed with the action.

A statement on Wednesday read: “Passengers have rightly had enough of rail strikes and want the disruption to end.

“Unions should step back from this strike action so we can start 2023 by ending this damaging dispute.”

Reduced service on the Overground

07:44 , Will Mata

London Overground has said it is running a reduced service until 6.30pm.

There is no service between Romford and Upminster, New Cross and Surrey Quays and between Barking and Barking Riverside due to strike action by Network Rail staff.

London Underground is accepting tickets via any reasonable route.

Mark Harper comment

07:40 , Will Mata

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has called for a fast resolution to the strikes.

“We want to end these strikes with a deal that’s fair to workers, passengers and the taxpayer,” he tweeted.

“It’s time for the unions to get off the picket line and back round the table.”

‘Tokenism’

07:38 , Will Mata

Mick Whelan said train drivers did not want to strike (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)
Mick Whelan said train drivers did not want to strike (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

Aslef secretary Mick Whelan dismissed the offer of a £2,000 increase in pay to drivers as ‘tokenism’.

He told the Guardian: “Inflation was running this year at 14%, we’ve had no pay rise for the previous two years, and they want industry reform for 3% – I don’t think that will fly with my members.”

Train strikes deal is now just a numbers game

07:27 , Will Mata

“Let’s not get overexcited,” writes Ross Lydall. “Rail strikes have been taking place since June last year. Major issues of principle are unresolved. Both sides are embedded.”

Read his full comment here.

Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express

07:25 , Will Mata

There is no Heathrow Express on Thursday due to the industrial action.

“We apologise for the inconvenience,” the operator wrote on Twitter. However, the Piccadilly line is operating a good service and provides trains to the airport.

As for the Gatwock Express, there are no trains on Thursday but will be a limited service on Friday and Saturday.

Rishi Sunak comment

07:22 , Will Mata

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

The prime minister has commented on the strikes entering a third day – but has not addressed the issue on social media.

On Wednesday he said: “The right to strike has to be balanced with the right of the British public to be able to go about their lives without suffering completely undue disruption.”

Other strikes in London

07:19 , Will Mata

 (PA)
(PA)

Also on January 5, some bus drivers in London are taking industrial action – mostly in the south and west of the capital.

Meanwhile, driving examiners at test centres in London and the south of England are now set to be on strike until January 10. All driving tests will be cancelled until that time and rearranged by the DVLA.

Why Aslef are striking

07:15 , Will Mata

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said it was ‘inevitable’ that further strikes will be held unless the deadlock is broken (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said it was ‘inevitable’ that further strikes will be held unless the deadlock is broken (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said it was “inevitable” that further strikes will be held unless there is a breakthrough to the long running row.

He warned that strikes could escalate, saying train drivers wanted to go “harder and faster” after years of not receiving a pay rise.

Mr Whelan said he felt rail employers and the Government were “playing games” rather than making any serious attempt to resolve the pay dispute.

“The situation is getting worse and my members now want to go harder and faster because of the lack of progress.

“The train companies say their hands have been tied by the government. While the government – which does not employ us – says it’s up to the companies to negotiate with us.

“We are always happy to negotiate – we never refuse to sit down at the table and talk – but these companies have offered us nothing, and that is unacceptable.”

Picket lines in London

07:10 , Will Mata

Aslef has said it will have picket lines in several stations around London for most of the day.

These will be at:

Clapham Junction

Grove Park Depot

Hornsey Depot

Ilford Depot

Kings Cross

Victoria

Norwood Junction

Selhurst Depot

Wimbledon Depot

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: