Will there be train strikes on Saturday? How an overtime ban may affect your journey

Rail passengers face a third consecutive day of disruption on Thursday, May 9 amid another Aslef union strike (PA Wire)
Rail passengers face a third consecutive day of disruption on Thursday, May 9 amid another Aslef union strike (PA Wire)

Rail passengers in the UK face further disruption in May amid more train strikes.

Aslef union members at 16 rail companies voted overwhelmingly to strike on different days after eight participated in strikes in April.

The union’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, said of the action voted on in February: “It is now a year since we sat in a room with the train companies — and a year since we rejected the risible offer they made and which they admitted, privately, was designed to be rejected.

“Our members voted overwhelmingly — yet again — for strike action. Those votes show — yet again — a clear rejection by train drivers of the ridiculous offer put to us in April last year by [train operators’ body] the Rail Delivery Group which knew that offer would be rejected because of a land grab for all the terms and conditions we have negotiated over the years would never be accepted by our members.

“We have given the Government every opportunity to come to the table but it is now clear they do not want to resolve this dispute. They are happy for it to go on and on.”

But will there be more train strikes on Saturday (May 11)?

Here’s what you need to know before planning your rail travel.

Will there be train strikes on Saturday?

The good news is no. Strikes have occurred this week, though, on the following days and services.

  • Tuesday, May 7 – c2c, Gatwick Express, Greater Anglia (which includes Stansted Express), Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern, South Western Railway including the Island line) and Thameslink.

  • Wednesday, May 8 - Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway.

  • Thursday, May 9 - LNER, Northern and TransPennine Express.

There will, however, be an overtime ban on all train companies from Monday, May 6 to Saturday, May 11.

What is an overtime ban and is it different from a strike?

An overtime ban is a form of industrial action where workers refuse to work overtime hours to put pressure on their employers during labour disputes. Trade unions commonly use this tactic to protest against unfavourable working conditions, pay, or other issues.

In the context of train strikes in the UK, an overtime ban could occur when railway workers, such as train drivers, conductors, or maintenance staff, refuse to work overtime shifts beyond their contracted hours. This can disrupt the normal operation of train services, particularly if overtime is relied upon to cover staffing shortages or to maintain regular service levels during peak times or emergencies.

An overtime ban differs from a strike in that workers continue to perform their regular contracted duties but refuse to work additional hours beyond that. In contrast, a strike involves workers refusing to work altogether, often leading to the complete shutdown of services or operations.

How will the overtime ban affect travel?

“On the days where full strike action is taking place, this is likely to result in little or no services across large areas of the network operated by the affected train companies,” the National Rail website says. “Services are also likely to be disrupted and start later on the day immediately following a full strike day.

“Passengers are warned to expect significant disruption and advised to plan ahead and check before you travel.”

You can check your journey for the industrial action dates with the National Rail Enquiries real-time Journey Planner.

Are there more train or Tube strikes planned?

On Friday, May 3, RMT union members announced that strike action would take place affecting ScotRail services on some routes on the following weekends:

  • Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 19

  • Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26

  • Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2

No more Tube strikes are planned following the TSSA strikes on April 26.