Hospitality businesses ‘left dismayed’ as further train strikes announced

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality businesses ‘left dismayed’ as further train strikes announced

Related tags Strike action Government Industrial action Network rail Trade union ukhospitality

Hospitality businesses have been ‘left dismayed’ after the main train drivers' union, Aslef, announced that a fresh series of rail strikes would take place later this month.

A ‘rolling programme’ of walkouts similar to those staged by the union in December​ will take place between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February, with different train companies affected on each day.

The union has been locked in a row with train companies over pay and working conditions for more than 18 months now.

As part of the latest round of industrial action, drivers will also refuse to work any overtime from Monday 29 January until Tuesday 6 February.

Industry trade body UKHospitality estimates that the strikes will cost the sector almost £350m in lost sales.

“Once again, hospitality businesses are left dismayed by strike action which will be significantly detrimental to sales and see bookings cancelled,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“January and February are already two of the quieter months of the year for venues and this disruption will make it even more painful.”

The strikes are likely to stop all trains at affected operators, although there is the possibility that companies could demand 40% of their timetable runs under the Government’s new minimum service levels law​.

However, The Guardian ​says​ it understands that none are likely to try to use the new powers this time.

The ongoing industrial action on the railways, which started in June 2022, has had a major impact on the hospitality sector, with UKHospitality previously estimating that the strikes have so far cost the sector in the region £4bn.

It has led to some businesses, including steakhouse group Hawksmoor, launching meal deals on strike days to encourage diners out​.

“We continue to urge all parties involved to urgently reach an agreement and resolve this dispute,” Nicholls adds.

“Ongoing strike action hurts businesses, prevents people from getting to work and significantly erodes confidence in the rail network.”

January train strikes - which train company will be affected on what day?

Tuesday 30 January: ​Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, GTR Thameslink, South Western Railway, and SWR Island Line

Wednesday 31 January: ​Northern Trains, and TransPennine Express

Friday 2 February: ​C2C, Greater Anglia, and LNER

Saturday 3 February: ​Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, and West Midlands Trains

Monday 5 February: ​Chiltern, CossCountry, and Great Western Railway

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