Rail strikes: music bar flattened by £50k loss

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Train strikes: Pub loses out on two big Xmas bookings
Train strikes: Pub loses out on two big Xmas bookings

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A central London venue has lost more than £50,000 in revenue due to rail strikes, leaving staff “really upset” just days before Christmas.

Thousands of rail workers staged strikes last week as part of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and working conditions. 

Music bar the Amazing Grace in London Bridge was forced to close after losing two full private hire reservations for major business Christmas functions.  

“Not only have we lost our revenue, they’ve lost the chance to wind down at the end of a busy year and look forward to letting off some steam,” said marketing director Sammie Ellard-King.  

The pub shut up shop as didn’t have enough reservations for the number of staff needed, meaning 12 team members lost nearly 20 hours of paid work. This was “really upsetting” to the business, Ellard-King said. 

Bad timing

She added: “While we respect the RMT staff striking, the timing of it after last year's Omicron wave couldn't have been worse. It's had maximum impact on both business and staff in what is usually our busiest week.” 

According to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), the sector has lost £2bn worth of “vital revenue” due to strikes.  

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “Its abundantly clear the Government has lost control, strike​​ action has overshadowed the first Christmas ​​period we have had to celebrate with some normality in more than three years.” 

Impacting business

Moreover, trade body UKHospitality recently estimated continuing rail strikes had already cost the sector £1.5bn​​ in lost sales​​ with chief executive Kate Nicholls urging those involved in negotiations to reach a solution​​ “imminently” to avoid further “harmful” strike action.   

Kill said: “The Government cannot ignore the escalating situation any longer. As more unions join the UK wide industrial action bringing the country closer to a standstill. 

“The current circumstances are critically impacting​​ businesses and will require a Government intervention and further support for businesses at the sharpest end of this crisis​​.” 

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