Network Rail workers are set to strike in June over pay and jobs, threatening travel chaos for the UK for a second time after the nationwide industrial action planned for the late May bank holiday was suspended.
Rail, Maritime and Transpot (RMT) union members vetoed Network Rail's offer of a 1% rise this year and around 1.4% next year as "falling short" of what is required for living standards and also expressed safety concerns. The first 24-hour strike will take place on 4 June from 5pm and the second 48-strike is planned from 5pm on 9 June.
The walkout last week was temporarily called off when Network Rail tabled its offer, but the RMT yesterday (28 May) rejected the deal. The RMT's 16,000 members at Network Rail work across the company's operations and maintenance and the fresh strikes will be the first nationwide action since 1994.
Which routes are affected by the strike?
The train operating companies affected include Abellio Greater Anglia, Arriva Trains Wales, c2c, Caledonian Sleeper, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, Eurostar, First Great Western, First Hull Trains, First TransPennine Express, Gatwick Express, Grand Central, Great Northern, Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express, Island line, London Midland, London Overground, London Underground, Merseyrail, Northern Rail, ScotRail, South West Trains, Southeastern, Southern, Stansted Express, Thameslink, Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast.
Although talks may still lead to a resolution of the dispute, if the industrial action is to go ahead there is likely to be severe disruption to services. According to rail bosses, only an estimated one in 10 trains will be able to run.
If you already have a ticket to travel on the dates planned for the strike, you may be entitled to a refund depending on your train company. For more information on tickets, check the National Rail website. Some train companies may be putting in place additional ticketing options and you are entitled to compensation if you have a Season Ticket.
According to National Rail, finalised timetables for the period of industrial action will be likely made available around Wednesday 3 June.
How else can you get around the UK?
If travelling by car, it is advisable to check AA for traffic reports if strike action goes ahead, as the company has forecast busy motorways.
If you are planning to use public transport over the strike period, you can still travel using inter-city bus companies, although you should leave plenty of time to get to your destination as the roads will be busy. National Express offers travel around the UK from £6.