Rail strikes set to impact FA Cup final and Epsom Derby – and even Beyonce isn’t safe

Business

Rail strikes are set to cause further havoc today when train drivers walk out ahead of high-profile events including the FA Cup final, the Epsom Derby, and a Beyonce concert.

Members of the Aslef union are taking industrial action in the long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Saturday’s rail strikes

Manchester United and Manchester City supporters heading to Wembley Stadium for the grand finale to the football season are advised not to travel by train and drive instead – likely meaning heavy traffic on the roads.

Some 90,000 supporters are expected at the ground for the first all-Manchester final in FA Cup history, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm so not to clash with the Epsom Derby 90 minutes earlier.

Saturday’s disruption will also hit those attending the England vs Ireland test match at Lord’s and Beyonce’s Renaissance tour date at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Rail Delivery Group said only around 40% of trains will run, with regional variations meaning there would be no services running whatsoever in some areas.

More on Strikes

‘We are in this for the long haul’

The strike follows similar action by the train drivers’ union and the RMT union, whose members walked out on Wednesday and Friday in their ongoing dispute with the government over pay and working conditions.

The RMT strike on Friday saw 20,000 staff in catering, stations and working as train managers take action, affecting services throughout the country.

Both unions have rejected the pay offers put forward by the government this year, with bosses claiming there is still strong support for industrial action among their members.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said there was “no waning in enthusiasm” from train drivers to continue taking industrial action, as he described a government pay rise offer of 4% for this and last year as “dismal”.

“We are determined to get a resolution and remain in this for the long haul,” he said.

Read more:
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‘Delays to driving licences’ as DVLA workers announce strikes

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Not content with impacting the hundreds of thousands of people who have looked forward to these events all year round, unions are also targeting their own members’ pockets by forcing them to miss out on pay every time they strike.

“The government has facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer, now union leaders must do the right thing and put this to their members.”

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