Aslef train strike Birmingham July 2022: how will West Midlands be impacted - can I get to Commonwealth Games?

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The strike will be the second in just four days, and more are planned for August

The latest in a series of rail strikes is set to hit Birmingham on 30 July as train workers union Aslef take part in industrial action after train companies failed to make a pay offer to keep pace with the increase in the cost of living.

The strike will impact eight rail companies across the UK, and Birmingham is set to be impacted as workers at West Midlands Trains will be amongst those taking part in the strike.

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With the first weekend of the Commonwealth Games coming up, here’s what we know about which routes will be affected, what the union has said about possible disruption, and how people can attend the games on 30 July.

When is the strike?

Eddie Dempsey, from the RMT (left), and Mick Whelan, from Aslef. Photo: Parliament TVEddie Dempsey, from the RMT (left), and Mick Whelan, from Aslef. Photo: Parliament TV
Eddie Dempsey, from the RMT (left), and Mick Whelan, from Aslef. Photo: Parliament TV | Photo: Parliament TV

The Aslef union strike takes place on Saturday, 30 July and will be a strike which lasts all day.

Many services on each of the eight train companies that are taking industrial action will be cancelled.

Which West Midland Trains services are affected?

According to West Midland Trains, all but one service will not run on 30 July due to the heavy impact of the Aslef industrial action.

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A spokesperson for the company said: “Due to industrial action by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF), West Midlands Railway services will not operate other than a special shuttle between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International. Other operators will be running on some routes.”

Which routes in Birmingham will be running?

Train services from Transport for Wales, Cross Country, and Avanti West Coast into Birmingham from outside the region will be in operation but are likely to be very busy.

Customers are asked to check with their train company ahead of travelling.

How is transport in the West Midlands affected?

Train services within the region will be either cancelled or extremely busy on 30 July, with disruptions also expected for some services on 31 July.

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On 30 July, sporting sessions will be taking place at almost all the venues across the West Midlands.

For details on how you can get to each of the venues, from local buses to walking, check out our accompanying article.

Commonwealth Games organisers recommend people in the local area to walk, cycle or get local bus services to venues to make sure they can take in.

What has Aslef said about the strike?

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said that the strikes are something that the union has been forced into.

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He said: “We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are the result of a failure of negotiation – and this union, since I was elected GS in 2011, has only ever been on strike, until this year, for a handful of days.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – not least because our friends and families use public transport, too, and we believe in building trust in the railways in Britain – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike.

“But we’ve been forced into this position by the train companies, driven by the Tory government. The drivers at the companies where we are striking have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years – since April 2019.”

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