More strikes to cause fresh misery for Londoners as train drivers and teachers walk out again
Commuters are bracing themselves for more misery as train services into the capital are crippled on Thursday by a fresh rail strike.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) union working for 14 train operators are walking out in a long-running row over pay, jobs and conditions.
Transport for London (TfL) are also warning about a hangover from Wednesday’s strikes meaning Tube services will start later than normal and will be disrupted throughout Thursday morning.
All the London commuter operators will be hit including:
GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
South Western Railway
Trains that do run will start later and finish much earlier than usual - typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
It is expected that nationally between 40-50% of train services will run, but there will be wide variations across the network, with no services at all in some areas.
Services on Friday morning may also be disrupted because much of the rolling stock will not be in the right depots.
Southeastern said only 52 out of 180 stations will be operational on Thursday and Saturday - when train drives are due to walk out again.
A spokesman added: “There will be a limited service running on our network and some routes will be closed. Please check before you travel. If you are travelling expect some disruption, plan ahead and check your entire journey.
“First trains will leave later and the last trains back from London will be much earlier than usual.”
C2C warned: “Trains may be busier than normal as people travel with us from other train lines.”
London Budget Day Industrial Strike Protest | Wednesday 15th March 2023
The ongoing dispute has seen rail staff offered a minimum pay rise of 5 per cent for 2022 and 4 per cent for this year as a “best and final” offer.
But the RMT is demanding “an unconditional pay offer, a job security agreement and no detrimental changes being imposed on members terms, conditions and working practices”.
Commuters stuck in the middle are left waiting to see who blinks first in negotiations.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said on Wednesday: “I congratulate all our London Underground members who have taken part in this strike action today.
“It shows how determined we are to reach a negotiated settlement to this long-running dispute.
“Attacks on pensions, conditions and job losses will not be tolerated and the travelling public needs to understand that understaffed and unstaffed stations are unsafe.
“We will continue our industrial campaign for as long as it takes.”
Teachers in England and university staff will also be on strike in a continuation of a walkout on Wednesday, when they took part in one of the single biggest days of action in a decade.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the size of the demonstration proved that support for industrial action remained strong among teachers, and maintained that backing from parents was increasing - despite many seeing their children not able to attend school.
"We are striking for the education service, and parents understand very well what is at stake. Through serial neglect, and over more than a decade, this Government has driven schools and colleges into the ground."
Junior doctors, teachers, civil servants, lecturers, London Underground drivers, BBC journalists and Amazon workers took industrial action on Wednesday, saying they wanted to send a strong message to the Government on the day of the Budget.
Hundreds of strikers protested outside Downing Street while the Chancellor was delivering the Budget in the nearby House of Commons.