1. Transport
September 27, 2023

How will strikes affect London’s rail and Tube network?

Rail workers in multiple unions are set to go on strike again in September and October.

By Ben Kosma

September and October will see further transport strikes in the UK with heavy travel disruptions due to walkouts by rail unions. This will lead many rail services to be severely reduced or suspended, leaving commuters weighing up their options.

tube and train strikes
London is bracing itself for more strikes. (Photo by Zeynep Demir Aslim/Shutterstock)

When are train strikes taking place?

Following the strikes earlier in the year, the RMT and ASLEF unions have scheduled further action for the following dates:

  • Saturday 30 September (ASLEF)
  • Wednesday 4 October (ASLEF and RMT)
  • Friday 6 October (RMT)

ASLEF train drivers will also be undertaking an overtime ban between 30 September and 6 October.

Will the rail strike affect the Tube and London overground?

The RMT strike dates will only affect the London Underground network. It is unclear at this point whether this includes the Overground or Elizabeth Line services, but given that they are operated separately, it is unlikely that they will be affected.

The ASLEF train drivers’ strike will however affect 16 national rail lines:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways; c2c
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR Great Northern Thameslink
  • Great Western Railway
  • Island Line; LNER
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southern/Gatwick Express
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

Why is there a train strike?

Strikes are ongoing as rail unions have been in deadlock over pay offers that fall below inflation in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.

“Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time. Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”

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While the RMT has also been at odds with the government over pay, the London Underground strike is primarily over staffing cuts and associated safety concerns.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Station staff have had enough of having their livelihoods threatened by job losses and attacks on their terms and conditions.

“Station staff have a vital role to play assisting vulnerable passengers access the network safely and ensuring that the tube is a safe environment for passengers.

“This strike action will lead to the tube being shut down and we call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet us urgently to discuss this matter.“

[Read more: Just how reliable is London’s Elizabeth Line?]

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