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UK rail services back on track after train driver strikes

LNER Azuma trains at Peterborough Station

Rail services across the UK have resumed normal operations after train drivers concluded a series of strikes.

The industrial actions included walkouts and a nine-day overtime ban.

They were part of an ongoing dispute concerning pay and working conditions, affecting train operations

Although no further strikes have been scheduled, it remains uncertain if new negotiations will happen to resolve the ongoing issues.

A spokesperson for Rail Delivery Group said: “There will be no winners if industrial action continues and causes further disruption for customers.

“We believe rail can have a bright future, but right now taxpayers are contributing an extra £54 million a week to keep services running post covid.

“We want the Aslef leadership to work with us to resolve this dispute and deliver a fair deal, which both rewards our people and makes the changes needed to make services more reliable.”

Aslef's general secretary said it has been over a year since the union had any contact from the Department for Transport.

They said: “It’s clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

“Many of our members have not had a single penny increase to their pay for half a decade, during which time inflation has soared and, with it, the cost of living.

“Train drivers didn’t even ask for an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic when we worked throughout lockdown as key workers, risking our lives to move goods around the country and to enable NHS and other workers to get to work.”

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None of the train companies impacted by the recent strikes implemented the new regulations to guarantee a minimum service level during strikes.

Mr Whelan added: “This new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won’t ease industrial strife. It will just make it worse.

“The government and train operating companies should come to the table with a realistic offer so we can end this dispute and work together to ensure the future of our railways.”

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