Rail passengers warned of continued disruption in aftermath of strike action

Rail passengers have been warned to expect continued disruption to their journeys in the aftermath of Wednesday’s strike action and ahead of Friday’s walkouts.

Commuters have been warned by operators to expect “significantly reduced train services” across all three days and advised to check ahead of taking a journey.

Train driver members of Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) staged industrial action on Wednesday and will take to picket lines again on Friday in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Network Rail said: “Due to industrial action, there will be significantly reduced train services from Wednesday 1 until Friday February 3.

“Trains will be busier and likely to start later and finish earlier. There will be no services at all in some places.

“If you’re travelling, please plan ahead and check your first and last train times. For the latest travel information, visit National Rail or your train company’s website.”

Network Rail said it expected around 80%-85% of services will run on Thursday.

In a message to passengers on its website, Avanti West Coast said that “days either side of the strikes will also be affected”.

Southern Rail said trains will start “much later than usual” on Thursday.

In a tweet, it said: “The first services of the day will be much later than normal, with no services before 0700. This could be later depending on where you’re travelling from.”

Southeastern has said it will operate a normal timetable on Thursday.

On its website, it stated: “While we’ll be running our normal timetable on the days either side of the strikes, other train companies may not be able to do so.”

Analysis of train performance website showed 7.6% of services were either cancelled or more than half an hour late up to 2pm on Wednesday.

The figure for the entire day on Tuesday was 0.4%.

The Aslef union’s general secretary Mick Whelan has insisted rail workers have the public’s support as strike action continues.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Wednesday, the biggest day of strikes in the UK in more than a decade, he said: “We’ve seen polling this week that shows that the general public are supporting all the unions that are on strike, including the rail unions.”

He has also warned that proposed anti-strike laws could backfire on the Government by prompting rail workers to stage longer periods of industrial action.