Train hits latest updates: travel disruption on Christmas Eve as drivers said to ‘avoid roads’

Train fares in England soar with the biggest increase in more than a decade

Brits have been warned of a train disruption strike today as millions head off on the Christmas holidays, with motorists being told to avoid the roads until 7pm.

The RAC issued the warning for a section of the M25.

It comes as members of the Rail, Shipping and Transport Union (RMT) are set to stage another round of industrial action today in an ongoing dispute over wages and working conditions.

Earlier, another union warned that strikes by Border Force workers could last up to six months as they staged the first of several days of action.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, urged ministers to “come around the negotiating table” and make a better salary offer.

“Our strike mandate lasts until May,” he told the BBC this morning. “We will support this action through May and would vote again if necessary.”


Drivers warned of “traffic nightmare” during Christmas drives amid strikes by road workers

Motorists have been warned their trip home for Christmas could turn into a “nightmare” as traffic surges to pre-pandemic levels and road workers go on strike for four days.

According to the AA, nearly 17 million riders are expected on the roads on Friday and Christmas Eve, with others estimating a third of regular train users will instead travel by car amid large-scale industrial action by railroad workers.

But drivers could face a higher-than-usual risk of “life-threatening” delays in providing assistance in the event of a motorway breakdown as front-line National Highways workers leave in a labor dispute also from Thursday to Christmas across London and the South East.

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 10:23 am


Travelers on Christmas Eve race to reach their destinations while the train is on strike

In normal years, the trains usually end late in the evening on Christmas Eve. But RMT union members working for Network Rail will stop work at 6pm and train operators are scrambling to get rolling stock and staff back to depots before the walkout begins. The last trains from many locations run in the morning, with all services ending in the afternoon.

The last direct train to London has already left Edinburgh, while the East Midlands Railways main line, which connects London to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, is running no trains at all due to a separate strike by members of the Unite union.

Our travel correspondent Simon Kalder Reports:

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 10:05 am


Former transport minister says Christmas Eve strikes are a ‘PR blunder’

Campaign for Better Transport’s Norman Baker told Sky News he thought it was a “PR mistake” to call a strike on Christmas Eve.

The former transport minister said it was the wrong move as the public had been “quite supportive” of the railway workers.

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 9:45 am


Avanti West Coast is urging customers to only travel if “absolutely necessary”.

Avanti West Coast has urged customers to only travel if absolutely necessary and to review their travel during the holidays.

The last train from Glasgow to London departs at 10:40 on 24 December.

Barry Milsom, Executive Director of Operations and Safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “There will be changes to our services over the holiday period due to planned improvement work and strikes by RMT members at Network Rail.

“As a result, our last trains on Christmas Eve will depart earlier and service will start later on December 27th, so the recommendation to customers is to only travel on these days if absolutely necessary.

“In addition, we are driving with a changed timetable and on some journeys with transfers or rail replacement services.

“We urge our customers to plan ahead and do some research before traveling if they are traveling on our west coast route between December 24th and January 2nd.”

The RMT has also announced plans for four days of strikes early in the new year, starting on January 3rd.

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 09:20


Scotrail warns travelers of strike-related disruption over Christmas

Strike action starting on Christmas Eve will severely limit rail travel as people are advised not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”, the Scottish rail operator has warned.

In the latest round of strikes by the RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union, thousands of members are on strike over an ongoing wage dispute.

The strike will start at 6pm on Christmas Eve, services will cease earlier than usual from 3pm – much earlier than usual.

There are no trains on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, services are expected to resume later in the day on 27 December.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “We remind our customers that ScotRail services will be disrupted over the Christmas period as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT.

“Trains will be canceled earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, there will be no trains on Boxing Day and the first trains will start later than normal on Tuesday 27 December.

“We know this is really frustrating for everyone involved and we urge our customers to plan ahead and review their entire trip ahead of time.”

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 09:03


Christmas Travel Chaos: How Border Force and Rail Strikes Could Affect Holiday Travel Plans

Passengers arriving at some of the UK’s main airports over the Christmas period could face long queues if UK Border Force staff go on strike – with the risk of Christmas flights being cancelled.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced industrial action from December 23 through the end of the year, with the exception of December 27.

Our travel correspondent Simon Kalder Reports:

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 08:58


Strike wipes out Boxing Day services

The strike has wiped out all limited Boxing Day services, including all 43 planned Eurostar services linking London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, our travel correspondent Simon Kalder reports.

When the RMT strike ends at 6am on Tuesday 27th December. Services are slowly resuming, although the main operators will continue to have a greatly reduced schedule. The last South Western Railway trains from Britain’s busiest station, London Waterloo, run until the second week of January at around 21:30.

There are no trains at all to and from London Liverpool Street due to planned construction work until the New Year – when national rail strikes resume on 3 January.

Millions of people going on their Christmas holidays face disruption from strikes and traffic jams

(PA wire)

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 8:56 am


“Only travel if your travel is absolutely necessary”

“Don’t travel unless your travel is absolutely necessary”: That’s the rail industry’s warning to people hoping to catch a train on Christmas Eve ahead of the next nationwide RMT strike by Network Rail workers, which begins on Sunday December 24 at 6 p.m. Simon Kalderour travel correspondent, reports.

The main East Midlands Railways route, which connects London to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, will see its last northbound train for four days depart at 7.35pm tonight. A separate strike by members of the Unite union means all later trains will be canceled along with the entire Christmas Eve timetable.

Elsewhere, train operators are scrambling to get rolling stock and staff back to depots before the walkout begins. The last trains from many locations run in the morning, with all services ending in the afternoon.

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 8:55 am


Good morning! Welcome to our live blog as we keep you updated on the latest travel and strikes this Christmas Eve.

Maryam Zakir-HussainDecember 24, 2022 08:53

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