FA Cup final travel plans affected as further train strikes are announced
Manchester City and United supporters travelling to the FA Cup final look set to face disruption after train drivers announced three fresh strikes in a long-running row over pay.
Members of Aslef will walk out on May 12 and 31 – and when Wembley hosts Manchester City and Manchester United on June 3.
The union said it has rejected a “risible” four per cent pay offer from the 16 train companies it remains in dispute with.
General secretary Mick Whelan said drivers have not had a pay rise at those companies since 2019.
He said on Thursday: “Our executive committee met this morning and rejected a risible proposal we received from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
“The proposal – of just four per cent – was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10 per cent and our members at these companies have not had an increase for four years.
“The RDG, in turn, rejected our proposals to modernise Britain’s railways and help them run more efficiently, for passengers and for businesses, in the 21st century.
“Consequently, we have today announced three more days of strike action on Friday May 12, Wednesday May 31 and Saturday June 3 at the companies with which we are in dispute, and which are letting down passengers, and taxpayers, so badly.
“We are also withdrawing non-contractual overtime from Monday May 15 to Saturday 20 inclusive, as well as on Saturday May 13 and Thursday June 1.”
The train operating companies involved in the dispute are: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, London North Eastern Railway, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway, SWR depot drivers, SWR Island Line, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
The May 12 strike will be held the day before the Eurovision final in Liverpool.
A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: “This is disappointing news for our customers and staff, more strike action is totally unnecessary and will only heap more pressure on an industry already facing an acute financial crisis. Senselessly targeting both the final of Eurovision and the FA Cup final is disappointing for all those planning to attend.”
The PA news agency has contacted fan groups attached to the Manchester clubs for comment.