Travel advice issued ahead of latest ASLEF train drivers strike

There is also an amended timetable for Avanti West Coast services on Friday 2 and Sunday 4 February. Credit: PA

Travel advice has been issued ahead of the latest ASLEF train drivers strike.

There will be no Avanti West Coast services on Saturday 3 February with widespread disruption to services on the West Coast Mainline.

There will also be an amended timetable for Avanti West Coast services on Friday 2 and Sunday 4 February.

The ASLEF train drivers walkout is in relation to a dispute over pay, with a series of strikes taking place between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February.

Train drivers are also refusing to work overtime between Monday 29 January until Tuesday 6 February.

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.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan explained why members were taking part in strike action. Credit: PA

"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."

Avanti West Coast are urging customers not to travel on the strike days.

Andy Mellors, Managing Director at Avanti West Coast, said: “Our customers want to be out using our network and it is disappointing that we are once again asking them not to travel on a weekend. We understand their frustration and can only apologise for the disruption to their plans.

There will be no Avanti West Coast services on Saturday 3 February. Credit: PA

“We’d encourage those able to do so, to take advantage of the ticket easement, and change their day of travel. Alternatively, customers are entitled to a full fee-free refund.”

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."

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