Train strikes cost sector £2.5bn

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Industrial action: train strikes cost sector £2.5bn (Credit: Getty/Cultura/Monty Rakusen)
Industrial action: train strikes cost sector £2.5bn (Credit: Getty/Cultura/Monty Rakusen)

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The impact of the train strikes has cost the hospitality sector a total of £2.5bn in lost sales since industrial action began in June last year, according to UKHospitality.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls told the BBC this revised figure is £1bn more than originally estimated, due to the fact an expected pre-Christmas bounce back during a period when fewer strikes were called never materialised and factors in the new strike dates called by rail workers this week.

Mick Lynch, secretary general of the RMT union warned yesterday that the rail strikes were mandated to continue until the summer unless an agreement on pay and working patterns was reached.

Deterring customers 

Nicholls said the impact of the travel disruption was deterring customers from booking restaurants or tickets to events in advance.

Industrial action by the RMT and Aslef unions this week has effectively seen workers return to the office delayed until Monday 9 January, due to Network Rail staff in the RMT union striking on 3, 4, 6 and 7 January and train drivers for Aslef striking on 5 January.

It has reported that just one in 10 train services will run tomorrow (5 January) in what has been dubbed “Tragic Thursday” – the worst single day of strike action during a working week for decades.

Further misery 

Nicholls ​added: "Hospitality is facing a New Year hangover as rail strikes delay the return to work and make our town and city centres ghost towns for yet another week.

"This piles further misery on commuters, visitors and tourists as well as hard pressed hospitality workers and businesses already vulnerable due to the loss of vital pre-Christmas sales.

"The sector has struggled to recover from Covid and these protracted rail strikes since May have made that bounce back much tougher. Enough is enough, this needs to end now."

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