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Rail passengers are being warned of major disruption on Monday as train drivers walkout over pay and working conditions.

Staff at 16 train companies have been taking part in rolling one-day walk outs between Friday 5 April and Monday 8 April.

But London Underground drivers’ strikes on Monday and in May have been called off.

What lines have been affected on Monday?

Passengers are advised to check before they travel, with the action likely to lead to cancellations, delays and no services in some areas.

Train drivers who are members of the Aslef union are on strike for 24 hours from midnight at these firms:

Monday 8 April: c2c, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern, Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line and depot drivers, and SWR Island Line

South Western Railway will operate a “significantly reduced” service on a small number of lines, with train running between 07:00 BST to 19:00.

Southern said there will be no trains running across the majority of its network, but there will be a limited service non-stop service between London Victoria and Gatwick.

There will be no Thameslink services running, except for a limited non-stop service between London Kings Cross and Cambridge and another shuttle service between London St Pancras, Luton and Luton Airport Parkway.

There will be no Great Northern or Gatwick Express services.

Southeastern said most of its routes and stations will be closed, with an extremely limited service where trains are running.

No c2c trains will run, while Greater Anglia said it will run an hourly train service between Norwich/Colchester and London Liverpool Street; Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street; Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street.

A bi-hourly train service will run between Cambridge and London.

Aslef members will also refuse to work on rest days from Monday 8 to Tuesday 9 April. This is also likely to cause delays and cancellations.

For up-to-date information about whether services are running, check the National Rail website.

Strikes by London Underground drivers had been scheduled for Monday 8 April and Saturday 4 May but have now been called off.

National Express said it was adding thousands of extras seats across its coach services.

Can I get my money back for strike days?

Rail passengers with advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train they are booked on is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled due to strikes.  

If passengers have a return ticket they may also be entitled to a fee-free refund if any part of the journey is cancelled.

Season ticket holders (flexi, monthly or longer) who cannot travel, can claim 100% compensation for strike dates through the Delay Repay scheme.

Aslef is seeking better pay for its members and says drivers are being asked to sacrifice working conditions in exchange for a wage increase.

In April 2023, it rejected an offer which would have seen a 4% pay rise two years in a row. There have been no formal talks since.

Train operators say ways of working need to change for wages to rise, because of financial challenges and fairness to taxpayers.

The Department for Transport says the union needs to do the “right thing” and give members a vote.

Are there more strikes planned?

Unions in disputes need to re-ballot members every six months to see if they want to continue with industrial action.

Currently, unions are obliged to give at least 14 days’ notice of any strike action.

In November last year, RMT members, including guards and ticket office staff, voted to accept a pay offer. This included a backdated pay rise of 5% for 2022-23 and job security guarantees.

Their acceptance means they will no longer be involved in industrial action until at least the spring.

Talks over future pay deals and working practices will continue.

What is the minimum service levels law?

A new law means train companies can require enough staff to work on strike days to run 40% of services.

The Department for Transport said it expects employers to use minimum service levels “if appropriate to do so, and to deliver the best possible service”.

However, industry insiders told the BBC the rules were complicated to put in place. One source said it meant co-ordinating a reduced timetable with other operators in a short space of time.

The Rail Delivery Group, an membership organisation of Britain’s train operating companies, said minimum services levels was a potential tool but not a “silver bullet”.

Unions strongly oppose it.

How much are rail workers paid?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says median pay for “train and tram drivers” is just under £59,000.

Train companies and the government say the offer rejected by Aslef would take average train driver pay to £65,000.

The average salary of rail workers in 2022 was £45,919, according to the ONS.

If drivers are excluded (because they tend to be members of the Aslef union, not RMT) its estimate is £39,518. However, the RMT union said that figure was too high because it does not include rail cleaning staff.

Will you be affected by the strikes? Get in touch by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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22 January
1 August 2023