Posted 1st December 2023 | No Comments

Industry braces for week of strikes and drivers vote for more

Strikes The Commons Transport Committee has urged the Government not to overlook risks as it prepares to introduce Minimum Service Levels ‘rail strikes’ regulations, and ‘be ready to learn lessons where necessary’. The warning has come as ASLEF starts nine days of an overtime ban, and also prepares to stage rolling strikes at operators in England from tomorrow until 8 December. Meanwhile drivers who are members of ASLEF have voted to continue strikes for the next six months. ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: ‘Our members, who have not had a pay rise for nearly five years now, are determined that the train companies and the Tory government that stands behind them do the right thing.’

Landslip Network Rail and South Western Railway are urging passengers between Woking and Basingstoke to only travel if absolutely necessary following a landslip. Cracks up to 45 metres long, 50cm wide and a metre deep have been detected in a 100 metre slope next to the St John’s Hill Road overbridge between Brookwood and Woking. Network Rail has introduced a 20mph speed restriction and part of the railway will be closed next week so that the cutting can be repaired.

Ayr ScotRail has confirmed that limited services from Ayr will be reintroduced next week after the line was closed following a recent fire at the former Station Hotel. A half-hourly rail shuttle will start running on 4 December to Prestwick Town, to link with connecting services to Glasgow Central.The safety exclusion zone around the former hotel at Ayr means that full services cannot be restored for now.

Rail replacements The Office of Rail and Road has asked operators and Network Rail to address concerns over the consistency and usefulness of information about rail replacement buses during engineering works. The regulator said better information is needed, adding that there were too many places where passengers could be confused by where to go and what to do.

Performance The ORR has launched an investigation into punctuality and reliability in Network Rail’s Wales & Western region. Performance has continued to deteriorate while performance elsewhere has been stabilising. While ORR’s investigation will focus on Network Rail, the regulator said it recognises that reliable, punctual trains require cross-industry collaboration, and will arrange a meeting of all parties, including passenger and freight operators. The ORR will assess whether Network Rail is complying with its licence obligations.