worst rail disruption of year as workers walk out
UK– Members of four unions staged a 24-hour strike over a longstanding dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions. More than 50,000 workers are taking part in the strike, which has resulted in the most extensive rail outage of the year. This means that only 11% of conventional trains are running, and large UK areas have no traffic.
Unions say there has been little progress in resolving disputes, while railroad bosses want wages linked to modernization.
For the first time, four unions – RMT, Aslef, Unite and TSSA – left on the same day. Some 54,000 members are participating in the coordinated action, which means services are more disrupted than on previous days of the strike, when only one or two unions were on strike.
Significant sections of the network have practically come to a standstill, with only one in ten services running and trains leaving later and ending earlier than usual.
There are no trains between London and major cities including Edinburgh, Brighton and Newcastle. Some operators, including Northern, Avanti West Coast and South Eastern, do not run trains all day. The Heathrow Express has also been suspended.
In Scotland, ScotRail operates only 20% of flights from 0730 BST to 1830 in the Central Belt, Borders and Fife, with no trains operating elsewhere on the network.
Many who planned a trip to the capital for the London Marathon have to reconsider their plans. Those hosting a major charity fundraising event must collect their event package from ExCel London before the end of Saturday.
Most flights on Sunday will start later than usual due to a break on Saturday, but the London Marathon said south east trains would get passengers to the starting line on time.
The strike will also affect delegates traveling to and from the Conservative Party conference starting on Sunday, as well as thousands of people traveling to football games and other events.