Train strike on bank holiday Monday: Will your route be affected – and how else can you travel?

Plans still in place for strike to go ahead on 25/26 May

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The Independent Online

The UK's rail network is bracing for the biggest strike in more than 20 years, with bank holiday travellers and commuters all likely to be affected.

If the strike goes ahead as planned at 5pm on Monday 25 May, it will involve members of both the RMT and TSSA unions – meaning there will be a shortage of signallers, maintenance staff, white-collar workers and others across the nation.

Network Rail said that while talks are still going on to try and avert the walkout, if it goes ahead it will have at least some impact on every rail route in the country.

Which routes will be worst hit?

The planned bank holiday strike will be the first national stoppage since 1994 – before the railways were privatised – and since then the number of passengers using Britain's trains has doubled.

Network Rail has issued a statement warning that all national rail routes will be affected, “although this is likely to vary considerably by route”.

A spokesperson said it was too early to say which routes would be hit worst. “With some routes it might be the case that we suggest people carry on and use the service,” he said. “While on others there could be no trains at all.”

More detailed information, including a route-by-route breakdown, is expected to be issued before the end of the week – until then, travellers were advised to “check with the relevant train company before travelling”.

What are your alternatives?

The knock-on impact for other modes of transport from a nationwide stoppage will be considerable, though there will still be other ways of getting around.

Motorways on the bank holiday Monday evening were already forecast to be busy by the AA, and will be more so if would-be train users are forced to drive. For live traffic updates then and on the Tuesday morning, visit the AA’s traffic news hub.

Those who were planning on travelling long-distance to visit family and friends and who can’t drive themselves could try National Express, Megabus – or a comparison website such as

Will the strike go ahead?

Network Rail said further talks with unions were planned for this week, which it said “may still lead to the resolution of the dispute”.

The strike has been called as part of a long-running dispute over pay and job guarantees, with RMT members voting four-to-one for the stoppage on a 60 per cent turnout.

But the TSSA, which represents around 3,000 white-collar workers at Network Rail, voted in favour of the strikes on a much narrower margin, with 53 per cent in favour on a turnout of 52 per cent.

Network Rail has issued a legal challenge over that ballot, saying it contained “numerous defects”.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA, said “taking this legal route” showed Network Rail was “more determined to impress [Transport Secretary] Patrick McLoughlin and the Tories than making a serious attempt to resolve this pay row and ensure that the trains run on time over the bank holiday”.