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CrossCountry customers urged to prepare for significant disruption over four Saturdays of RMT strike action

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  • Planned RMT union strikes on Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 August, and Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 September will mean limited services for CrossCountry customers.
  • Customers are being urged to check before travelling as services will start later and finish much earlier than usual.
  • RMT has announced that Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September will now be national strike days, impacting 14 train operators.


CrossCountry customers are being warned of significant disruption to services over four consecutive Saturdays in August and September due to planned industrial action by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September will also see national strikes by RMT members across 14 train operators.

Strike action by CrossCountry RMT members on Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 August, and Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 September will severely impact summer travel plans for CrossCountry customers.

The CrossCountry specific strikes are unrelated to RMT’s ongoing national dispute on jobs, pay and conditions, but are in response to proposed local changes affecting a small number of CrossCountry colleagues in the Customer Service Assistant team at Edinburgh - whose duties include dispatching train services from Edinburgh Waverley.

CrossCountry does not operate station dispatch duties elsewhere and the proposed changes would bring the delivery of CrossCountry services in line with those used throughout the rest of the network.

These proposed changes do not impact colleagues’ job security or terms and conditions and the strike dates were called despite CrossCountry having agreed dates with the RMT to continue talks on 22 and 23 August.

The four 24-hour walkouts will significantly impact travel plans for major events over the four Saturdays, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Manchester Pride, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

On Saturday 19 August, CrossCountry services start after 07:00 and finish much earlier than normal. CrossCountry will run:

  • One train an hour between Manchester Piccadilly and Reading via Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Birmingham New Street, Coventry, and Oxford. Some services will extend to Southampton Central via Basingstoke.
  • One train an hour between Birmingham New Street and York, via Derby, Sheffield, and Leeds. Some services will extend to Edinburgh via Newcastle.
  • Two trains an hour between Birmingham New Street and Leicester via Nuneaton. Some services will extend to Peterborough.

A CrossCountry spokesperson said: "Throughout this process we have sought to work with the union to provide all ten Edinburgh employees with the best employment options for them.

“Should the action go ahead, a local issue impacting ten CrossCountry colleagues will lead to hundreds of colleagues losing out on yet more pay as well as disrupting thousands of passengers who are keen to enjoy their summer.

“We hope that RMT will call off these unnecessary strikes so that we can continue discussions and avoid further disruption for our passengers.”

Train services will start later and finish much earlier than usual across all four strike days, with services likely to be significantly busier than usual.

Engineering work in the Water Orton area will further impact journeys over upcoming weekends. Over Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 and from Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August, as well as on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 August, journeys between Birmingham and the North East / Scotland will be extended by up to an hour. A bus replacement service will be in operation for customers at Wilnecote and Willington.

Full details of service levels on strike days will be available to view at https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/travel-updates-information/changes-to-train-times/industrial-action.

Delay repay, refund and ticket acceptance information will also be available at the same link.

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