Commuters have been warned to expect disruption today (October 4) as train drivers go on strike.

ASLEF union members at several train companies, including those that operate in Lancashire such as Northern, will strike.

Disruption is expected throughout the week, until Friday, October 6, due to a ban on overtime action short of strike, which is when employees continue to work but withdraw some of their labour.

Lancashire Telegraph:

According to ASLEF, Wednesday's strike will force the train operating companies to cancel all services and the ban on overtime - running from Monday until Friday, October 6 - will seriously disrupt the network.

There will be a picket line in Blackburn, outside Cathedral Square, from 8.30am until 12.30pm.

A spokesperson for Northern said: “As a result of ASLEF industrial action, Northern train services will not operate on Wednesday, October 4.

“Additional disruption is expected on Friday, September 29, and from Monday, October 2, to Friday 6 due to action short of strike called by ASLEF.  Check before you travel."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.

“Our members have not had a pay rise for four years and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time.

"Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago”.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said: “Our offer to Aslef would take average driver salaries to £65,000 for a four-day week – that’s more than double the average UK salary and many drivers top up their income further by working overtime.

“We are ready and willing to talk to Aslef’s leaders so we can end this damaging dispute but any talks about pay also need to address working practices that date back decades.

“The industry depends on a monthly injection of up to £175 million from the taxpayer because revenues are still 30 per cent below pre-pandemic levels – while simultaneously facing unprecedented changes in customer travel patterns.

“It is obvious that the sector can only fund a pay rise by changing how it delivers services so it can respond to that transformation in how the public use the railway.

“That means putting managers – rather than unions – in charge of planning shifts.

“It means allowing managers to respond to unexpected staff absences so they can reduce the last-minute cancellations that so frustrate our customers.

“It means giving our customers more reliable train services when they actually want to use them – particularly on Sundays. That is how any industry survives and thrives.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The Government spent £31 billion of taxpayers’ money, £1,000 per household, to protect rail workers’ jobs during the pandemic.

“There is a fair and reasonable offer on the table that would take train drivers salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week.

“Aslef’s leaders won’t put this offer to their members and instead continue to strike – damaging their own industry in the process.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 16 companies affected include: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; c2c; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; Great Western Railway; Island Line; LNER; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.