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New train drivers’ strike to disrupt more journeys

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Another strike by train drivers on Saturday, amid warnings of a strike over a long-running dispute over wages, will lead to more travel chaos for commuters.

Aslef members will walk out along with 11 train operators due to massive disruptions, with the industry warning of “significantly reduced” services across the country.

Commuters were urged to plan ahead and check before traveling all weekend.

Trains running will start later on Saturday morning and end much earlier than usual, with services generally running between 7:30am and 6:30pm on the day of the strike.

Rugby fans traveling to Cardiff for the England v South Africa and Wales v Australia internationals at Twickenham are advised to contact their train operator for travel updates as a number of trains on the network will be affected.

Asleaf’s secretary-general, Mick Whelan, said progress in talks to resolve the dispute was “incredibly slow”.

He told PA news agency: “We don’t want to be in this situation, but nobody listens to us. Our members have not received a pay rise during the pandemic and we are being told train companies will increase wages by more than 2%.” Can it not.

“Only the government can remove the shackles from the employers. We’re in this for the long haul – and our members want us to move faster.

Whelan will meet with transportation secretary Mark Harper next week to discuss the dispute.

Mick Whelan (Nick Ansell/PA)

Daniel Mann, director of industry operations at Rail Delivery Group, said: “The Asleaf strike brings more uncertainty to commuters and businesses by disrupting their weekend plans.

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“While we will do everything we can to minimize disruption to travelers on the affected routes, we recommend that you plan ahead and check the latest travel advice on National Rail Inquiries.

“Passengers with pre-sale, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strike can use their tickets one day before the ticket date or until Tuesday, November 29. Passengers can also change their ticket to travel on a different date or get a refund if their train is canceled or rescheduled.

Companies such as Avanti West Coast, Crosscountry, Chiltern and East Midlands are not expected to offer services, while others including Great Western and Greater Anglia say services will be extremely limited.

The rail, maritime and transport union has announced a series of strikes at Network Rail and 14 train operators over the coming weeks in their dispute over jobs, wages and conditions, which will cripple services.

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