Rail strike by Aslef will take place on Saturday, August 13 followed by two more RMT walk outs on August 18 and 20
Rail passengers are being warned they face major disruption this weekend as train drivers gear up to walk out again in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
The 24-hour walkout this Saturday is set to coincide with another busy weekend of summer events and football fixtures, with travellers being warned it risks upending their plans.
With nine train companies taking part in the latest industrial action by train drivers' union Aslef, cancellations are expected to be widespread with those intending to use the railways being warned to pay close attention to temporary timetables and travel advice alongside leaving considerably more time for each journey.
It was on Saturday, July 30 that Aslef members last walked out - which saw virtually no services run as a result of thousands of train drivers being out of action.
This Saturday's strike will affect Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.
Other train companies, not involved in the latest industrial action will be running services but as a result of the disruption elsewhere, their trains, says the Rail Delivery Group, are expected to be extra busy.
Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strike on Saturday will be able to use their ticket the day before the date specified on the ticket or up to and including Tuesday, August 16 - while customers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date, or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.
Rail users with a season ticket that is monthly or longer or who have an activated days’ worth of travel on a flexi season ticket, who choose not to travel on Saturday, can claim compensation through the delay repay scheme.
While Saturday's strike will only last 24-hours anyone travelling the following morning - on Sunday, August 14 - is also being advised to check with their train company before setting off and if possible, consider starting their journey later as many trains, staff and therefore services may remain out of place initially and until vital safety checks can be carried out.
Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said it remains a difficult time for passengers and businesses.
He explained: "The Aslef leadership has for the second time in as many weeks, decided to impose yet more uncertainty for passengers and businesses by disrupting passengers’ weekend plans.
"My open invitation for talks with Aslef stands. The railway is too important to this country to allow decline, but with passenger numbers still 20% below pre-pandemic levels securing a bright future means we have to adapt to attract more people back. We call on Aslef to come to the table, so we can fund the pay rise we want to give our people while delivering the improvements in Sunday services and greater punctuality our passengers deserve.
"While we will do all that we can to minimise disruption and to get people where they need to be, if you are going to travel on the routes affected, please plan ahead and check the latest travel advice and be aware that services may start later the morning after strikes."
The main bulk of this year's summer strikes have been carried out by the RMT union and Aslef - with both campaigning for better pay and conditions for members who they say are facing a cost of living crisis as a result of wages which haven't kept up with inflation.
And with few signs that the disputes are likely to be resolved - the RMT has also already given notice for two more strikes this month.
All of its members - amounting to more than 30,000 - will join what is set to be their fourth and fifth 24-hour walk outs of the summer on Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20.