Status: 12/25/2022 1:45 pm
For many Britons, returning home after Christmas this year will be difficult. A strike is snarling rail traffic over the holidays — and travelers need to be patient at airports, too.
Trains traditionally stop on Christmas Day in Great Britain. But Monday, Boxing Day, is known as Boxing Day – the busiest day of the year for British Railways. But this year, the tracks were empty due to the strike.
There will be no trains on Monday, according to route operator Network Rail. Connections to London’s Heathrow and Stansted airports are also to be cancelled. The RMT union called a strike for thousands of Deutsche Bahn workers on Saturday evening. The strike is expected to last till Tuesday morning.
Restrictions have been imposed on train traffic on Tuesday as well
But on Tuesday, connections may fail during the day or travelers should be prepared for delays. Railway company ScotRail told the BBC that the first trains would not be able to run again until 7:15am on Tuesday. In some regions of the country, train services are expected to be canceled till late afternoon.
Network Rail urged passengers to check available connections before they travel. The AA motorists’ association has estimated that more than 15 million cars could be off the UK’s roads as a result of the Boxing Day rail strike.
More strikes were announced in January
The pay row at British Railways has been going on for months. The RMT union had called for strikes several times this year. The BBC also reported that she wants to call again after the start of the year to stop work. Accordingly, it has already been announced that the walkout will be held on January 3 and 4 and January 5 and 6.
The union is demanding higher wages and better working conditions for railway employees. RMT rejected earlier offers from route operators.
Sunak against further salary hike offers
More recently, however, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken out against wage increases beyond the offers already submitted by employers. Sunak is not only referring to the railways, but also other sectors with wage problems, such as the public sector, with strike action. He justified his refusal with the risk of further inflation.
Railways in Great Britain have been largely privatized since the 1990s. However, private operators have to comply with certain government regulations.
There is also a strike at the airports
But it’s not just this year’s rail strike that is making it more difficult for Brits to travel over the Christmas period. Border officers have been on strike at several airports since Friday, including London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports. They want to stop work until New Year’s Eve, but the strike ends on December 27. At the start of the Christmas travel wave on Friday, there were already long queues at airports.
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