Disruption to rail services due to ASLEF strike action

There has been ongoing ASLEF strike action taking place between 30 January and 6 February. Credit: PA

There are no Northern or TransPennine Express services on Wednesday 31 January due to an ASLEF train drivers strike.

As part of the strike action there is ongoing disruption to the rail network with disruption expected between 29 January and 6 February.

Northern are advising people that their services will not run on Wednesday 31 January. In a statement on their website the rail operator said: "Additional disruption is expected between 29 January and 6 February 2024 due to action short of strike called by ASLEF. 

"If travelling with Northern, or connecting with other services across the country, check before you travel as industrial action may affect multiple parts of your journey.

"Between 29 Jan and 6 Feb (during 'action short of strike'), we expect some late notice cancellations to services, particularly the first and last services of the day. Please check before travelling, as close to the time as possible."

Northern Rail has also advised that there will be no rail replacement bus services in operation on the strike day.

TransPennine Express also wanted to warn customers of the disruption.

There are no TransPennine Express or Northern services operating on Wednesday 31 January. Credit: PA

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Service and 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 Wednesday 31 January, with a very limited timetable in place on the day after the strike.”

There will also be action short of a strike by ASLEF between Monday 29 January and Tuesday 6 February, which will cause disruption to services.

Kathryn added: “We expect the action short of a strike to cause widespread disruption, delays and some short-notice cancellations. I would advise customers to check very carefully before they travel and to allow extra time for any journeys.

“We’re extremely sorry for the impact this action will have for our customers and will do all we can to keep as many people on the move as possible.”

ASLEF train drivers are striking as part of a dispute over pay. The drivers are also refusing to take overtime from Monday 29 January until Tuesday 6 February.

Mick Whelan explained why ASLEF drivers are taking part in strike action. Credit: PA

ASLEF’s general secretary Mick Whelan said: "We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it has now been a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport. It's clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

"Many of our members have now not had a single penny increase to their pay in half a decade, during which inflation soared and with it the cost of living. Train drivers didn't even ask for an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic when they worked throughout as key-workers, risking their lives to allow NHS and other workers to travel.

"The government has now tried their old trick of changing the rules when they can't win and brought in Minimum Service Levels legislation. But this new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won't ease industrial strife. It will likely just make it worse. 

"There's no excuse. The government and train operating companies must come to the table with a realistic offer so we can end this dispute and work together to ensure the future of our railways."

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Passengers are being targeted by Aslef’s decision to go on strike, despite union bosses having an offer on the table that would take train drivers’ average salary up to £65,000 for a four-day week.

"While the RMT, TSSA and Unite have all agreed deals for their members, Aslef’s leadership isn’t even putting the fair offer on the table to a vote of their members.

“The taxpayer subsidised the rail sector to the tune of £12bn in the last year alone – the very same taxpayers who are now being forced to miss work, postpone vital medical appointments and cancel plans with loved ones because Aslef bosses are determined to stand in the way of reform

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...