Fresh rail strikes will affect hundreds of thousands of people travelling to watch the FA Cup final and the Epsom Derby on Saturday as “there are no negotiations” taking place over the bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers’ union Aslef has warned commuters on Saturday that there will be major disruptions and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will strike on Friday.
Thousands of football fans will be affected when travelling to London to watch the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
Football fans are being advised to specific routes to get to Wembley Stadium and hundreds of coaches will ferry supporters to London from Manchester.
Whelan said, “There are no negotiations since they came out with yet another deal that contained all our ‘red lines’.
“If you spend months in a room, tell people things aren’t acceptable to you, then they produce a deal that contains those things then they are setting the deal up to fail.
“That is a deliberate act on behalf of both the Government and the people that we’re dealing with.
“They do not apparently want a resolution.”
When asked over the disruption which will be caused to football supporters attending the FA Cup final, he said, “I truly don’t want to do that.”
An Rail Delivery Group (RDG) spokesman said the train strikes are causing “disappointment and frustration for tens of thousands of people,” and for families wanting to travel for half term with planned holidays will be affected.
A Department for Transport (DfT) said, “These strikes have been co-ordinated by union leaders to disrupt passengers in a week which will see major events such as the first-ever all-Manchester FA Cup final, the Epsom Derby and a number of concerts and festivals across the UK.
“Not content with impacting the hundreds of thousands of people who have looked forward to these events all year round, unions are also targeting their own members’ pockets by forcing them to miss out on pay every time they strike.
“The Government has facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer, now union leaders must do the right thing and put this to their members.”