Strike action set to take place by train drivers and railway workers on Saturday, October 1 – the day before this year’s London Marathon – is likely to disrupt travel to the race.
Aslef, Britain’s trade union for train drivers, has announced that train drivers and railway workers from 12 different companies will walk out on October 1 and 5 in a dispute over pay.
For the first time this year, Aslef and the RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) will strike on the same day, which could result in half the number of trains running than in previous RMT strikes. Just 10 percent of services are now predicted to be operating on Saturday.
The rail companies affected are: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry? Greater Anglia; Great Western Railway; Hull Trains? LNER; London Overground? Northern Trains; Southeastern? TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
While not a strike day, people traveling to and from the London Marathon on Sunday, October 2 will be affected, as the trains will not be in the correct locations, while those making the journey to London the day before the race will face major travel disruption.
Greater Anglia has also warned that there will be no services between 7 and 7.30am on the morning of the race.
London’s underground network will remain operational throughout the strike, but users are told to expect mid-severe delays across the service.
Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, told the BBC: ‘We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing your labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.
‘That’s why we are calling on the companies – which are making big profits and paying their chief executives enormous salaries and bonuses – to make a pay offer to our members to keep up with the rise in the cost of living.’
The rail industry will be putting together their contingency plans, with more details expected by the end of the week.