Network Rail is planning for fewer than one in 10 trains to run if next week’s strike goes ahead, with Gatwick airport cut off in a peak holiday week and British steel production being brought to a halt, leaked documents setting out its contingency plans show.
*UPDATED* – Strike now cancelled – read more here
We all know how difficult travel on the trains can be as a disabled person, but next week there is a possible strike affecting 90% of the rail network in the UK.
While some East Coast services will run, leaked documents show Scotland will effectively be cut off by rail from England, with no trains on the mainline between Newcastle and Edinburgh, as well as the full West Coast closure.
Passengers have already been warned to expect huge disruption to trains, with no services at all on Tuesday on South West Trains, the biggest commuter network, or on Virgin’s west coast intercity trains. Commuter services in major cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh will also be severely disrupted.
It is understood senior Network Rail executives tabled a new pay offer to union leaders at talks at Acas on Thursday, and a deal may be close which would avert strike action.
Passenger trains will be particularly affected on Tuesday, when key commuter services will be out of action as people return to work after the bank holiday, but many will also be cancelled on Monday as the strike starts at 5pm. Contingency plans are being drawn up for the Championship play-off final at Wembley, as well as the Three Queens event in Liverpool – an unprecedented gathering of the world’s three largest cruise ships that is expected to draw 600,000 people.
Network Rail is planning to publish full timetables on Sunday afternoon, the last moment when it believes industrial action could be averted. A fourth consecutive day of talks at Acas started at 9am on Thursday after running late into the previous evening.
Most Tube services in the capital will run as normal but are likely to be very crowded, with commuter trains and London Overground largely out of action on Tuesday. Transport for London is running around 100 extra bus services.