RMT union workers have opted to go on strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week (21, 23 and 25 June) in a dispute over pay and redundancies, which will affect services in England, Wales and Scotland, while staff at Network Rail, which maintains infrastructure, also plan to walk out.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “For a devastated hospitality industry beginning its tentative post-pandemic recovery, the planned strike action couldn’t come at a worse time and might deliver a fatal financial blow to those businesses already struggling to survive.”
Fragile consumer confidence
She continued: “A rail strike will cost the sector £540m across the week, based on a 20% drop in sales where a typical June week sees takings of £2.75bn.
“Fragile consumer confidence will take a further hit, thousands of people able and willing to spend money in hospitality venues across the country will be prevented from doing so while staff will undoubtedly struggle to even get to work.
“We should all be pulling in the same direction if we’re to get the UK economy back on track, and want to see urgent and productive talks to avoid widespread disruption, next week.”
Potential in suburban areas
Stonegate Group chief executive Simon Longbottom told The Morning Advertiser’s sister publication MCA: “We recognise that the potential rail strike could have a temporary negative impact on footfall in towns and cities, but that could be offset as we benefit from good trading in pubs in more suburban and rural areas as people stay at home especially if the weather remains fine.”
Network Rail said about 4,500 services would be operating on strike days compared to 20,000 normally and trains that do run will start later and finish much earlier than usual – between 7.30am and 6pm.
A special timetable has been put together to show running routes between Monday 20 June and Sunday 26 June with many routes affected on non-striking days because of a lack of staff working overnight.
Rail lines directly affected are:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- Cross Country Trains
- Croydon Tramlink
- Greater Anglia
- East Midlands Railway
- Elizabeth Line
- Great Western Railway
- Hull Trains
- London Underground (21 June)
- Northern Trains
- South Eastern Railway
- South Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains