Train strike to hit major events such as Notting Hill Carnival and Reading and Leeds festivals


Rail services across England will be crippled today because of another strike in the deadlocked dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Around 20,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at 14 train operators are expected to join the walk out.

Trains will start later on Saturday and finish earlier and some areas will have no services, disrupting those travelling to events such as the Notting Hill Carnival in London and the Reading and Leeds festivals.

The latest stoppage in the row, now in its second year, comes as no progress has been made with rail operators, which the union says are “hamstrung” by the government refusing to give them a mandate to make a revised pay offer.

The RMT is also planning a strike on 2 September, while members of the drivers’ union ASLEF are taking strike action on 1 September, threatening days of disruptions.

The rail unions are also involved in a dispute over controversial plans to close railway ticket offices, which has also angered passenger groups and those representing elderly and disabled passengers.

More than 460,000 people have responded to a consultation on the plans and a protest is being held opposite Downing Street on 31 August, a day before the consultation ends.

More on Rail Strikes

Read more:
Full list of train companies affected by September train driver strikes around UK

Government ‘not serious about settling dispute’

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The government is not serious about settling this dispute which is leading to further disruption for passengers.

“Rail operators are not being given a mandate to make a new offer that we can put to members in a referendum to settle this dispute.”

A train passes in front of Battersea Power Station as it enters Victoria station in London, Britain, February 10, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Two more strikes are planned for 1 and 2 September

Some train firms have advised people to travel on Saturday only if necessary.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: “The industry will be working hard to keep as many services running as possible.

“There is no question the strikes called by the RMT and ASLEF leaderships are deliberately designed to target passengers who want to enjoy various sporting events and festivals during the bank holiday, and at the end of the summer holidays, disrupting their plans, hurting local economies and forcing more cars on to the road.”

RMT ‘cynically targeting bank holiday weekend’

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The government has played its part to try and end these disputes by facilitating fair and reasonable pay offers, but union leaders refuse to allow their members to vote on them.

“By cynically targeting the bank holiday weekend, and driving more passengers away from train travel when our railways are already losing £10m a day even without industrial action, the RMT’s strikes are damaging its own industry’s future.”