East Midlands Trains has promised London 2012 spectators that it will be going the extra mile to provide as many seats as possible for people travelling to the Games despite the strike action planned by ASLEF.
This follows the announcement by ASLEF that its members will be taking strike action on Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 August targeted at London 2012. Earlier this week, East Midlands Trains criticised the union as being “hell-bent on disrupting the Olympics” after the union went back on a pensions deal brokered in talks last week.
The pensions offer made to ASLEF has already been accepted by three other trade unions recognised by the company and involves no loss of pensions benefits. These proposals will mean their members will be able to benefit from higher take-home pay and additional pensions benefits.
Despite the industrial action, East Midlands Trains will be running around 30 trains in each direction to and from London on each strike day. Trains will be calling at additional stations and a number of late night services will still run to get people home from the Games.
David Horne, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said “We are astounded that ASLEF are still planning to go ahead with these strikes, despite the barrage of public criticism they have faced. Their claims that the strikes are not timed to cause Olympics disruption are nothing short of ludicrous.
“The fact is that the country has been preparing for the Games for many years, and ASLEF are well aware of the important role that transport will play in delivering a successful Games for the UK. This action has clearly been designed to cause the maximum disruption.
“We are putting a special timetable in place to provide thousands of seats on strike days and ensure spectators can still get to the Games. We will be going the extra mile and will be doing our very best to provide a quality and reliable service to passengers, and make sure they still enjoy all the excitement of London 2012.”
East Midlands Trains will be running at least 30 trains in each direction to and from London St Pancras on each day of the strike action and will be providing over 26,000 seats, delivering approximately 50% of its normal capacity.
Detailed service information for services to and from London St Pancras can now be found at www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. The timetable will include:
Two trains an hour will run for the majority of the day from Derby to London on 6, 7 and 8 August. Passengers are advised to check in advance, as in some instances the service from Derby to London will only be hourly.
Services between Derby and London will call at Long Eaton, Loughborough, Leicester, Market Harborough, Kettering and Wellingborough
Passengers travelling from Bedford/Luton and Luton Airport Parkway to/from London are advised to use First Capital Connect services.
Passengers travelling from Sheffield/Chesterfield are advised to use CrossCountry services to connect in with East Midlands Trains services at Derby.
An hourly train service will run from Nottingham, Beeston and East Midlands Parkway to Leicester to connect in with services through to London.
A train shuttle service will run from Nottingham to Grantham to connect in with East Coast services to London Kings Cross.
Three trains are planned to leave London after 23:15 on each strike day with the last service departing at 01:15.
Passengers attending Olympic events on Sunday 5 August can still travel on one of the five services planned to leave London between midnight and 01:15 on Monday 6 August.
The timetable for all East Midlands Trains’ local routes will be confirmed by 27 July.
The train operator has also issued advice for passengers already holding a ticket to travel on 6, 7 or 8 August:
As a limited service will be in place, passengers not travelling to the Games are advised to try and re-arrange their journeys for another day wherever possible.
Plans are being put in place to prioritise journeys for Olympic ticket holders.
Passengers with advance tickets pre-booked for a service which will not be running can use their ticket to travel on an alternative train or bus service provided by East Midlands Trains. This should be as close as possible to the original time booked.
Alternatively, passengers who hold a ticket for travel on one of the affected days can travel on East Midlands Trains services the day before or the day after their existing ticket is valid.
Customers who decide not to travel can receive a full refund on their ticket.
East Midlands Trains passengers will also be able to use their tickets on Virgin Trains, East Coast, Greater Anglia, TransPennine Express, Northern and CrossCountry.
Passengers are advised to check before travel. A copy of the timetable in place can be found at www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, or follow Twitter @EMTrains.