Latest rail strikes set to hit services in Enfield

Multiple staff walkouts involving different trade unions due to take place this week, reports James Cracknell

A poster at Enfield Town Station warning of upcoming rail strikes
A poster at Enfield Town Station warning of upcoming rail strikes

Rail strikes are again due to have a big impact on services in Enfield this week, with four days of disruption expected.

Members of two different trade unions are walking out as part of long-running industrial disputes with train operating companies (TOCs) and Network Rail.

The national strike on Wednesday, 27th July is being held by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and affects all rail companies, with station staff, cleaners, conductors and revenue protection teams joined by Network Rail signallers and maintenance teams in the mass walk-out.

In Enfield, as with the previous national strike in June, it means four stations will be closed with no services scheduled to stop at them. These are Enfield Lock, Brimsdown, Ponders End and Meridian Water stations, all run by Greater Anglia.

Wednesday’s strike also affects Great Northern services to Moorgate and London Overground services to Liverpool Street, although some trains are still set to run. Passengers are advised to complete their journeys on these lines by late afternoon.

On Saturday, 30th July, a strike involving train drivers belonging to the Aslef trade union will also see no Greater Anglia or London Overground services stopping in Enfield. While the strike should not affect Great Northern services, they are likely to be busier than usual because of the knock-on effect from closed lines.

Passengers are also warned that the days immediately following strike days are likely to see significant disruption to services.

No replacement bus services will be running to mitigate the strike’s impacts.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “We understand how frustrated our customers feel about their travel plans being disrupted, especially when there are so many events going on.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience disruption due to strikes causes our customers.

“Negotiations are continuing and we hope an agreement with the unions can be reached soon.”

Great Northern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) says it will be running the same service plan as for the last strikes in June and warns there will be very few trains, with crowding expected, particularly on last trains, and possible delays.

Two trains per hour are set to run between King’s Cross and Stevenage, calling at all six Enfield stations (Crews Hill, Gordon Hill, Enfield Chase, Grange Park, Winchmore Hill and Palmers Green) on the Hertford Loop route.

The Piccadilly line is expected to operate normally during this week’s strike days, but is expected to be busier than usual.

Angie Doll, chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Regrettably, we have to ask people once again to travel only if absolutely necessary on Wednesday 27th July, because of strike action by RMT members. There will be very few train services and some routes will be closed altogether.

“Services will start much later than normal and finish as early as 4.30pm. All this may lead to very busy trains and possible delays. Passengers should plan ahead and think about travelling at another time.

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“We are extremely disappointed that passengers across the country now face the anxiety of further rail disruption. Our focus remains on encouraging the RMT to work with the industry to seek a swift resolution.”

Passengers who have booked advance, off-peak or anytime tickets for affected strike days can usually claim a refund or use their ticket on alternative days. Check with each rail company for more details. Season ticket holders can also be entitled to compensation. Further information is on the National Rail website.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive, has apologised for the impact of the strike, which he described as “pointless”. However, RMT boss Mick Lynch has hit out at “attacks” on members’ terms and conditions, along with Network Rail’s offer of a 4% pay rise, while he said no TOCs have yet offered any pay rises as part of the dispute.

Mick said: “The offer from Network Rail represents a real-terms pay cut for our members and the paltry sum is conditional on RMT members agreeing to drastic changes in their working lives.

“We have made progress on compulsory redundancies. But Network Rail are still seeking to make our members poorer when we have won in some cases double what they are offering, with other rail operators.

“The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay.

“Strike action is the only course open to us to make both the rail industry and government understand that this dispute will continue for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement.”

Transport for London (TfL) staff are not involved in this week’s strikes, but impacts on TfL services are being caused by shared infrastructure with Network Rail.

Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “The upcoming strike action will mean disruption for some of our customers, with the London Overground, Elizabeth Line, and [some] London Underground services being affected. I encourage customers to check before they travel as the levels of service will vary on different modes of transport and different days.

“Alternative travel, including buses and other tube lines, is likely to be much busier than usual.”

RMT has announced more national strikes for Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th August.

For the latest information on national rail strikes and the impacts to mainline services:

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