Commuters face £1.5m season tickets hit during next week’s rail strikes

·3-min read
Season ticket holders will lose out during rail strikes next week  (PA Archive)
Season ticket holders will lose out during rail strikes next week (PA Archive)

Commuters are set to lose almost £1.5 million to next week’s train strikes as major travel disruption looms across the UK rail network.

Network Rail has advised Brits not to travel on June 21, 23 and 25 with half of the country’s rail lines set to shut for industrial action.

But while many may be forced to work from home to avoid the chaos, commuters who have purchased a season ticket could lose £8.94 for every journey they miss, the Telegraph reports.

Office for Road and Rail statistics published on Thursday reveal there were 51.2 million season ticket passenger journeys between January and March.

With an average of roughly 56,888 journeys a day, the Evening Standard calculates an equivalent of £1.5 million could be lost over the three strike days.

An annual season ticket for a typical commuter journey offers 52 weeks travel for the price of around 40 weeks of day tickets.

Office for Road and Rail statistics show 167 million season ticket journeys were made between April 2021 and March this year. That equates to 28.4 per cent of usage two years ago.

Citizens Advice has reported a surge in online traffic to pages devoted to refunds, as ticket holders scramble to get their money back.

“Getting a refund for a cancelled or delayed train” has been viewed more than 3,600 times, it told the Evening Standard. Page views spiked on June 5 and 7.

Commuters packed onto buses at Victoria station amid strikes on June 6 (AFP via Getty Images)
Commuters packed onto buses at Victoria station amid strikes on June 6 (AFP via Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of RMT workers are set to walk off the job across three days next week.

The national rail timetable from 20 June to 26 June is still being finalised but the number of services is expected to be around 4,500 compared with 20,000 normally, Network Rail said.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps issued an 11th-hour direct appeal to rail workers on Thursday not to follow “militant” unions into a wave of strikes which he warned threatens to inflict thousands of job cuts in their industry.

In a speech at Siemens train facility in Hornsey in north London, Mr Shapps said: “Today I appeal directly to rail workers, who I think are less militant than their union leaders…..don’t risk striking your industry out of a future.

“Don’t risk striking yourselves out of a job. Don’t pitch yourselves against the public.

“Let’s fix this situation and get back to building a better railway.”

Meanwhile, Londoners are set to face a second day of travel chaos this month as tube workers strike on June 21.

Disputes have flared over pay, jobs and conditions, with the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) announcing more strike ballots at rail companies on Wednesday, increasing the threat of a prolonged summer of disruption.

People will be able to claim individual journey costs back from their season ticket in the same way they can with delay repay, the government said.

Under the new compensation scheme, passengers can keep their season ticket and they will get a day’s fare back in compensation.

The scheme will be in place for next week, the government said.

Under the existing alternatives, passengers surrender their season ticket, and are refunded the portion they have not used.

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