Britons have remained furious over a ‘cynically’ timed train strike that will cripple the network over the August bank holiday weekend – leaving tens of thousands unable to travel during the busiest times of the year for sporting and cultural events.

RMT members will walk out on Saturday August 26 and Saturday September 2 amid an ongoing dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions. ASLEF members will strike on Friday September 1, followed by a ban on overtime on September 2.

This weekend’s RMT action will disrupt a huge range of major events including Notting Hill Carnival, Manchester Pride, York Races, England’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against United Fiji and the festivals of Leeds, Reading, Creamfields and Victorious.

Away fans traveling to dozens of football matches will also face disruption, with Premier League fixtures on Saturday including Bournemouth v Tottenham and Brighton v West Ham.

While National Rail had warned services might not work, many providers were still selling tickets, leaving passengers with those they can no longer use.

The strikes disrupt timetables before and after the day of the walkout as trains and conductors move away from their scheduled positions, meaning services will be affected on Friday and Sunday as well.

*Have you been affected by the rail strikes? Email [email protected]

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Rail customers describe the impact of the strike on their bank holiday plans

The 14 rail companies affected by this Saturday’s RMT strikes are: Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR including Gatwick Express.

Great Western Railways today reminded festival-goers in Reading that there will be no trains home on Saturday evening as the strike resumes.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that less than half of the tickets for England’s game against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday had been sold, raising the possibility that it will take place in front of strips of empty seats.

As Mail Sport revealed earlier this month, the RFU are struggling to sell tickets for the match, and with days to go the situation has not improved, with less than half of 82 000 available tickets sold.

Passengers complained about the disruptions on Twitter, with one calling them “selfish and self-defeating”.

Meanwhile, motorists are being warned of long delays on major roads as more than 14million car journeys over the bank holiday are expected to take place this weekend.

While National Rail had warned services might not work, many providers were still selling tickets, leaving passengers with those they can no longer use.

The strikes disrupt timetables before and after the day of the strike, as trains and drivers stray from their scheduled positions – meaning services will also be affected on Friday and Sunday.

A survey commissioned by the RAC has suggested that around 14.4 million leisure car trips are planned between Friday and Monday, which is the last public holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland until the day of Christmas.

That’s 1.8 million more than during the holiday weekend last summer.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group said staff were offered a 13 per cent pay rise, which was “blocked without a convincing explanation” by RMT management.

“With new strike actions, the RMT is once again targeting customers who want to enjoy various sporting events, festivals and the end of summer holidays, disrupting their plans and forcing more cars onto the road,” said said the spokesperson.

“We have now made three offers, the last of which would have resulted in salary increases of up to 13% as well as job security guarantees, and RMT management has blocked this offer without a convincing explanation.

“We remain open to negotiations and we have said many times that we want to give our workers a pay rise, but until the union leadership and executive are united on what they want and commit no good faith in the face of the 30% shortfall, the industry will remain open to negotiations. continuing to struggle with post-Covid makes it difficult to move forward.

“Unfortunately, the repercussions of this impasse are affecting our staff, customers and communities across the country that depend on the railroad. »

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said rail staff were offered a 13% pay rise, which was “blocked without a convincing explanation” by RMT management. File photo of train passengers

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The RMT management’s decision to call more strikes and cynically target the traveling public over the bank holiday weekend is disappointing. The government facilitated fair and reasonable wage offers.

“However, union leaders are choosing to prolong this dispute by preventing their members from voting on these offers. We continue to insist that members have their say and that the disruptions end.

In addition to the disruption caused by the latest RMT strike on Saturday, rail services will be affected by Network Rail carrying out around 500 projects across Britain’s railways over the long weekend.

The busiest station affected is London Euston, where services will be limited to 8 p.m. Saturday to Tuesday due to track renewal and signage upgrades.

No trains will serve London Charing Cross or Waterloo East on Saturday or Sunday, while buses and coaches will replace trains on the East Coast Mainline between Grantham, Royston and Potters Bar/Hertford North from late Saturday until the early hours of Monday.

Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s Director of System Operator, said: “As always, we have carefully planned our engineering work to ensure that the vast majority of the railway will be open as usual this bank holiday, so passengers can rely on the railway to get them where they need to be while making the most of the long weekend.

“Travel disruption on certain routes is however unavoidable when carrying out certain works, so be sure to check with National Rail Inquiries or your rail operator before travelling. »

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