I thought it worth doing a recap of the various rail strikes in December, as we’ve had a few reader emails about it.
You may also, if you are travelling TO the UK and don’t follow the news here, be unaware of the chaos that you may find.
Add in the Border Force strikes at major airports in late December and you may wish you’d stayed at home …..
December and January rail strike dates
Industrial action is being held by the RMT union, which represents 40,000 staff across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies.
Following the announcement of additional strike dates yesterday, there will be industrial action on:
- Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th December
- Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December
- Saturday 24th December (from 6pm) to Tuesday 27th December (7am)
- Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th January
- Friday 6th and Saturday 7th January
A separate strike will impact East Midlands Railway services between London St Pancras and South Yorkshire on 23rd and 24th December.
It is important to note that services will also be impacted in the half day before and after each strike. Services will be cancelled to avoid trains being ‘out of position’ when the walkouts begin and end.
Full details – and any changes to these plans since the date of publication of this article – can be found on the National Rail website here.
When will a timetable be published for the strike dates?
The Trainline website states that:
- timetables for 12th December to 16th December period will be finalised by 10th December
- timetables for 17th and 18th December will be finalised by 14th December
You should not rely on any schedule shown in an online journey planner before the dates above.
There is an overtime ban too
The RMT has also told its members to avoid any overtime work between 18th December and 2nd January.
This will have a disproportionate impact on services, because the rail industry has historically relied on staff working large amounts of overtime in order to run a full service.
Eurostar may see its own strikes
Security staff at Eurostar have given notice of strike action on:
- 16th December
- 18th December
- 22nd December
- 23rd December
No contingency plans have yet been announced as talks are continuing.
Border Force strike dates are now known
Members of the PCS union which run passport control at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports will strike between 23rd December and 31st December.
For some reason 27th December is excluded!
The Government has drawn up contingency plans for members of the army to run passport control desks, but with minimal training it is likely that there will be substantial delays.
It remains to be seen if airlines will be asked to cancel some flights to avoid overcrowding.