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Fresh disruption to rail services as drivers’ strikes continue

Members of Aslef on Northern Trains and TransPennine Express will walk out on Friday (PA)
Members of Aslef on Northern Trains and TransPennine Express will walk out on Friday (PA)

Train services across northern England will be crippled on Friday because of the final day of a wave of strikes by drivers in a long running dispute over pay.

Members of Aslef on Northern Trains and TransPennine Express will walk out, leading to the cancellation of all services by both operators.

Disruption is also expected on Saturday morning as rolling stock might be out of place.

Union members have staged strikes against different train operators since last Saturday and launched a ban on overtime, which ends on Saturday.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan says his members remain solidly behind the campaign for an increase to a pay offer made earlier this year worth 8% over two years.

The Rail Delivery Group and the Government have urged the union to ballot its members on the pay offer.

But Aslef says its members have voted in huge numbers to continue taking strike action when they are reballoted every six months under employment law.

The dispute started in June 2022 but shows no sign of being resolved despite the disruption passengers have faced during waves of industrial action.

Train timetables across the north of England will change on Sunday along with the rest of the national rail network.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer for Northern, said: “Whilst the overwhelming majority of our services remain ‘as is’ from Sunday, customers should double check any regular journeys they make, especially those with short connections.

“We’re very conscious that this timetable change immediately follows a period of significant disruption caused by the Aslef action this week.

“We want to make sure our customers are aware of the upcoming change and would encourage people to use the ‘Check My Timetable’ guide on the website.”