Boxing Day strikes: Thousands face travel chaos across Britain as action by railway workers and Border Force workers continues | industrial action

Thousands face travel chaos to access Britain as strikes by railways and border forces continue

Jane Clinton

Thousands of people are facing chaos on Boxing Day travel across Britain as a rail strike means no services will run.

Many have been forced to cancel or draw up alternative plans as industrial action continues.

Usually hundreds of departures occur on December 26 after the Christmas Day close.

However, Network Rail said Britain’s railways were closed for the second day in a row due to a strike by employees who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The strike is part of a long-running dispute between the RMT, rail operators and Network Rail over pay, jobs and conditions.

Thousands of members of Network Rail’s RMT union went on strike over the festive period from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

Disruption was also expected for people traveling to and from airports without services running on the Stansted Express on Boxing Day.

Planned upgrade work on the Heathrow Express means there are no services on Boxing Day, forcing airline passengers to find other ways to get to UK airports.

Rail timetables beyond Boxing Day were expected to suffer disruption with trains starting later than December 27 due to the industrial action.

The lack of trains means more people are expected to travel by road, with National Express and Megabus coach operators reporting high demand.

The AA expected 15.2million cars to hit Britain’s roads on Boxing Day as people venture out for sales and attend football matches.

A resolution to the rail dispute still seems a long way off, with the RMT accusing government ministers of having “disappeared” after the latest round of talks.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Until the government gives the rail industry a mandate to reach a negotiated settlement on job security, wages and working conditions, our industrial campaign will continue.”

Network Rail said the deal it offered is “fair and affordable”.

Thousands of people face Boxing Day travel chaos across Britain as a rail strike means no services will be running.

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Many have been forced to cancel or make alternative plans as the industrial action continues.

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Usually hundreds of departures run on 26 December after the Christmas Day shutdown.

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However, Network Rail said Britain’s railways were closed for a second consecutive day because of a strike by employees who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

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The strike is part of a long-running dispute between the RMT, and the train operators and Network Rail over pay, jobs and conditions.

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Thousands of members of the RMT union at Network Rail went on strike over the festive period from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on 27 December.

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Disruption was also expected for people travelling to and from airports with no services running on the Stansted Express on Boxing Day.

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Planned upgrade work on the Heathrow Express means there are no services on Boxing Day, forcing airline passengers to find other ways of getting to and from Britain’s airports.

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Rail schedules beyond Boxing Day were expected to experience disruption with trains starting later on 27 December owing to the industrial action.

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The lack of trains has meant more people are expected to travel by road, with coach operators National Express and Megabus reporting heavy demand.

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The AA expected 15.2m cars to take to the UK roads on Boxing Day as people venture out for the sales and attend football matches.

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A resolution to the rail dispute appears a long way off with the RMT accusing the government ministers of going “missing” after the latest round of talks.

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The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “Until the government gives the rail industry a mandate to come to a negotiated settlement on job security, pay and conditions of work, our industrial campaign will continue.”

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Network Rail has said the deal it has put forward is “fair and affordable”.

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Key events

Shoppers hoping for a Boxing Day bargain could face traffic jams as rail strikes see train services halt, the AA said it expects 15.2 million cars on British roads on Boxing Day, with shoppers and football fans among those likely to travel.

A spokesperson said: “Traffic is likely to build around shopping malls as many people seek a bargain in sales, while football fans will travel to see their teams.

“There is room for localized traffic jams and shorter journeys, but traffic should be dispersed throughout the day as people slow down after Christmas Day.”

New data has predicted shoppers will spend 4% less this Boxing Day and during post-Christmas sales due to the cost of living crisis.

Research by Barclaycard Payments found that the average shopper intends to buy £229 worth of items during the post-Christmas sales period, down £18 from 2021.

Network Rail said railways across the UK will remain closed today due to strikes by employees who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

Merseyrail announced that no trains would run on Boxing Day.

ScotRail usually has a Boxing Day service in the Strathclyde area – but there will be no service this year.

Northern operated a service between Liverpool Lime Street and St Helens Central on Boxing Day last year, but the company said there would be no trains running on Monday.

There will also be no services from the South.

Trains generally do not run on Boxing Day, with the exception of some airport transfer services, such as the Stansted Express and Heathrow Express.

Thousands face travel chaos to access Britain as strikes by railways and border forces continue

Jane Clinton

Thousands of people are facing chaos on Boxing Day travel across Britain as a rail strike means no services will run.

Many have been forced to cancel or draw up alternative plans as industrial action continues.

Usually hundreds of departures occur on December 26 after the Christmas Day close.

However, Network Rail said Britain’s railways were closed for the second day in a row due to a strike by employees who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The strike is part of a long-running dispute between the RMT, rail operators and Network Rail over pay, jobs and conditions.

Thousands of members of Network Rail’s RMT union went on strike over the festive period from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

Disruption was also expected for people traveling to and from airports without services running on the Stansted Express on Boxing Day.

Planned upgrade work on the Heathrow Express means there are no services on Boxing Day, forcing airline passengers to find other ways to get to UK airports.

Rail timetables beyond Boxing Day were expected to suffer disruption with trains starting later than December 27 due to the industrial action.

The lack of trains means more people are expected to travel by road, with National Express and Megabus coach operators reporting high demand.

The AA expected 15.2million cars to hit Britain’s roads on Boxing Day as people venture out for sales and attend football matches.

A resolution to the rail dispute still seems a long way off, with the RMT accusing government ministers of having “disappeared” after the latest round of talks.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Until the government gives the rail industry a mandate to reach a negotiated settlement on job security, wages and working conditions, our industrial campaign will continue.”

Network Rail said the deal it offered is “fair and affordable”.

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