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Train strikes this bank holiday weekend to hit Notting Hill Carnival and Reading Festival

A passenger at Waterloo train station in London (PA) (PA Wire)
A passenger at Waterloo train station in London (PA) (PA Wire)

Revellers flocking to Notting Hill Carnival and Reading Festival face travel misery this bank holiday weekend due to train strikes.

Around 20,000 members of the RMT union will strike at 14 rail companies as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

It leaves Londoners facing an abrupt end to the summer holidays, affecting events held over the bank holiday weekend such as the Notting Hill Carnival and the Reading and Leeds festivals.

The Night Time Industries Association called the strike “reckless", warning it could leave Carnival and other events “in chaos as ticket holders attempt to navigate a limited transport network".

The strike will see reduced services in much of England, although some journeys into Scotland and Wales may also be affected. Around half the usual train services will run, train companies have warned.

Notting Hill Carnival could be affected (PA)
Notting Hill Carnival could be affected (PA)

The 14 train operating companies affected 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.

Further disruption will also take place next weekend as the Aslef train drivers’ union plans to walk out on Friday, September 1, while the RMT plan another strike on the following day.

Speaking previously, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union was striking because there was “no improved or revised offer” from train companies.

“The reason for this is the Government has not allowed them a fresh mandate on which discussions could be held,” he said.

“Our members and our union will continue fighting until we can reach a negotiated and just settlement.”

But a Rail Delivery Group spokesperson, which represents train companies, said staff were offered a 13 per cent pay rise which was “blocked without a convincing explanation” by the RMT executive.

“With further strike action the RMT are once again targeting customers looking to enjoy various sporting events, festivals, and the end of the summer holidays, disrupting their plans and forcing more cars onto the road,” the spokesperson said.

A Department for Transport spokesperson added that the decision to have more strikes and “cynically target the travelling public” over the bank holiday weekend was “disappointing.”