Weekend rail strikes: travel disrupted across Great Britain | Rail strikes

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Rail passengers face another weekend of cancelled and disrupted trains as services across the Midlands and intercity trains from London are halted by drivers’ strikes.

The latest in a week of rolling 24-hour strikes called by the Aslef union will stop all trains throughout Saturday on Avanti West Coast, East Midlands, West Midlands Railway and its sister service, London Northwestern. LNER services running on the east coast mainline have resumed after a one-day strike on Friday.

The accompanying overtime ban by train drivers across England is expected to have its biggest impact on Sunday, which is a contractually a rest day at some operators.

The two West Midlands operators and Chiltern will not run any trains on Sunday, while Avanti, Great Western and CrossCountry will all operate reduced timetables. In the southeast, Govia Thameslink Railway said it would run far fewer trains than normal on its Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern networks, and no services at all on some routes.

The last 24-hour strikes of the current wave come on Monday at CrossCountry, Chiltern and Great Western. Only the latter plans to operate any trains, a skeleton service ending by early evening.

Aslef’s set of strikes and work to rule is the latest industrial action in the long-running pay dispute across train companies contracted to the Department for Transport in England. While drivers in Scotland and Wales are not on strike, cross-border rail services will be disrupted.

Train operators said passengers should continue to check timetables before they travel. The overtime ban – which runs until the end of Tuesday – will make additional short-notice cancellations and disruption likely.

New powers to enforce minimum service levels by requiring some drivers to break strikes and work have not been used by train operators, despite government pressure. Many in the industry have deemed the laws unworkable.

Aslef has said it will continue to strike for a new pay deal, after the union rejected an 8% offer last spring. The rail firms and the government have urged Aslef to hold a union-wide referendum on its offer, which would be the first pay rise for many drivers in five years.