Boxing Day strikes: Thousands face travel chaos across Britain as action by railway workers and Border Force workers continues | industrial action

Thousands face travel chaos to access Britain as strikes by railways and border forces continue

Jane Clinton

Thousands of people are facing chaos on Boxing Day travel across Britain as a rail strike means no services will run.

Many have been forced to cancel or draw up alternative plans as industrial action continues.

Usually hundreds of departures occur on December 26 after the Christmas Day close.

However, Network Rail said Britain’s railways were closed for the second day in a row due to a strike by employees who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The strike is part of a long-running dispute between the RMT, rail operators and Network Rail over pay, jobs and conditions.

Thousands of members of Network Rail’s RMT union went on strike over the festive period from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

Disruption was also expected for people traveling to and from airports without services running on the Stansted Express on Boxing Day.

Planned upgrade work on the Heathrow Express means there are no services on Boxing Day, forcing airline passengers to find other ways to get to UK airports.

Rail timetables beyond Boxing Day were expected to suffer disruption with trains starting later than December 27 due to the industrial action.

The lack of trains means more people are expected to travel by road, with coach operators National Express and Megabus reporting high demand.

The AA expected 15.2million cars to hit Britain’s roads on Boxing Day as people venture out for sales and attend football matches.

A resolution to the rail dispute still seems a long way off, with the RMT accusing government ministers of having “disappeared” after the latest round of talks.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Until the government gives the rail industry a mandate to reach a negotiated settlement on job security, wages and working conditions, our industrial campaign will continue.”

Network Rail said the deal it offered is “fair and affordable”.

Key events

Here is a reminder of the upcoming strikes announced through January.