Aslef and RMT strikes: May and June 2023 dates, which train companies are affected, what are the alternatives

A series of strikes by Aslef and RMT union members in May and June are set to cause travel chaos.
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A series of strikes in the wake of an ongoing pay dispute between railway workers and the government is set to cause travel chaos for passengers heading to the Eurovision Song Contest and the FA Cup Final.

More walk-outs have been arranged for May and June by the main rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef. This will cause staff to stop work at more than a dozen train operators across the UK, including all of the major long-distance and commuter rail firms.

Over a dozen train operators’ drivers will strike on Friday (May 12), Wednesday (May 31), and Saturday (June 3). An overtime ban will also be implemented. The RMT has planned a strike for members of 14 train companies on Saturday (May 13).

The walk-outs will hit passengers hoping to reach Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest, with the final taking place on Saturday, May 13. Meanwhile, the June 3 date coincides with the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City, which will be held at Wembley in northwest London. It will also affect racegoers travelling to Epsom Derby.

Tens of millions of train passengers have had trouble getting where they need to go every day since June 2022 due to countrywide rail strikes over a complex web of conflicts involving pay, job security, and work conditions. Frequent stoppages have caused significant delays and made it impossible to plan ahead for travel.

In total, the RMT, the largest rail union, has gone on strike for 24 days so far, while Aslef has gone on strike eight times. On all the strike dates, the vast majority of services in Scotland and Wales will operate normally as ScotRail and Transport for Wales are not involved in the dispute with Aslef.

Which train operators are affected? 

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • LNER
  • TransPennine Express

London

  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway
More walk-outs have been arranged for May and June by the main rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)More walk-outs have been arranged for May and June by the main rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
More walk-outs have been arranged for May and June by the main rail union, the RMT, and the train drivers’ union, Aslef. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Midlands and north of England

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Northern Trains
  • West Midlands Trains

There will also be a ban on “non-contractual overtime” – on Saturday May 13, from Monday, May 15 to Saturday, May 20, and on Thursday, June 1.

How to get a refund

Passengers holding Advance, Anytime, or Off-Peak tickets can have their tickets refunded without penalty if the train for which they have purchased a ticket is cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled. Train companies are likely to provide flexibility to travel on a range of non-strike days.

Passengers with season tickets who do not travel can claim compensation for the strike dates through Delay Repay.

Any alternatives to trains?

National Express, Megabus, and Flixbus are just a few of the long-distance coach companies that will stay operating despite increased demand and prices.

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