Railway workers are bracing for several strikes over the festive period as union bosses continue to squabble over wages and conditions, sending Travelers’ Christmas plans into disarray.
At national scale rail strikes will take place on December 13-14, December 16-17, from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6 a.m. on December 27, January 3-4 and January 6-7.
An overtime ban from December 18 to January 2 by RMT members will also affect many train services.
Passengers who booked tickets in advance may be entitled to a refund – here’s what you need to know about the claim.
Can I get a refund if my train is canceled or delayed due to strikes?
If you have pre-booked a ticket for a strike day and your service is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled, you are entitled to a change or refund. You will need to contact the original reseller of your ticket to collect your money.
My train has been rescheduled but I don’t want to travel at this time – can i get a refund?
Yes, you can get a refund if your train has been rescheduled due to a strike. Again, you will need to do this through your original retailer.
When will I know if my trip is affected?
The National Railway trip planner does not yet present service schedules on strike days.
For trips from December 12 to 16, the Journey Planner will be correct on December 10. For trips on December 17 and 18, it will be updated on December 14.
Strikes every day before Christmas – where and why?
PM to hold crisis talks with cabinet after railway union adds new Christmas strikes
National Rail has yet to confirm when the journey planner will be updated to reflect planned strikes over the Christmas period and into January, with travelers advised to check their website closer to the time.
Can I use my ticket to travel on another day?
If you have an advance ticket for a strike day, you may be able to travel on the days around the strikes. Details of this have yet to be announced, so check with your train company closer to the time.
I have a subscription – can I get a refund?
Season ticket holders are entitled to compensation through the Delay Repay program for the days they are unable to travel due to a strike.
Why are the workers striking?
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union represents workers at Network Rail, which operate rail infrastructure such as signals, and workers at 14 of the UK’s 28 rail companies.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said his members go on strike in response to the government’s job cuts and refusal to raise wages in line with inflation.
Mr Lynch said the government planned to ‘attack’ working conditions and practices using ‘fire and re-hire’ and cut the real wages of most members through long pay freezes and wage increases below RPI inflation.
The RMT wants an increase in wages, which it has not quantified, and the assurance that jobs will not be eliminated, as well as preserved working practices and conditions.