Train Strikes to Hit FA Cup Final and Epsom Derby

Rail services ground to a halt in parts of the country on Wednesday as a fresh wave of strikes began. Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef walked out and will do so again on Saturday 3 June, the day of the FA Cup Final, while members of the RMT will strike on Friday.

Aslef said there was “no waning in enthusiasm” in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

The government said the strikes were co-ordinated to disrupt major events.

Wednesday’s strikes will affect 15 train companies, with services due to start later and finish much earlier than usual – typically between 07:30BST and 18:30. About 40% of trains will run, but there will be wide regional variations, with some operators running no services at all. During the RMT’s action on Friday about half of the network is set to shut down.

Aslef drivers will walk out again on Saturday, affecting the first ever all-Manchester FA Cup final at Wembley and the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park.

That strike will also affect Beyoncé’s Renaissance world tour concert in London; the England v Ireland cricket Test match at Lord’s; and some 100,000 horse racing fans travelling to Epsom for the Derby.

National Express said it was providing 120 private coaches, with a seating capacity of 5,880, to take football fans to Wembley. These are for match ticket holders only, with seats bought via their club.

But it added: “Every time there is a rail strike, we see an increase in both enquiries and bookings across our UK-wide scheduled coach network… with a 30% increase in bookings for travel this week so far.”

Motoring organisation the RAC said it expected the roads to be “exceptionally busy”, not least because the cup final coincided with the end of half-term in many parts of the country.

The AA warned that motorway service stations were “likely to be incredibly busy” on Saturday and advised non-football fans to consider taking a break elsewhere, such as in a local town or village.

You might also like