Unless you were stuck in a foreign airport with a suntan and a dead mobile, you’ll have heard that rail workers, unlike the railways’ fuel and energy suppliers, can’t just put their prices up to cope with inflation. No, they have to get tough and go on strike, on 21st, 23rd and 25th June, effectively shutting down the UK’s rail network for a week and disrupting travel plans for, well, me for starters; then there are the other 20 odd million journeys to consider (we did some rough sums), many of which relate to travel to festivals and other pleasurable activities such as going to the office, factory or Rhyll.
No surprise then that we’ve had reaction from two leading representative bodies today. First up is Jon Collins, LIVE CEO who said:
“While we recognise the legitimacy of this action, a large proportion of live music fans, artists and staff are completely reliant on the rail network to get them to events safely.
“Like the rail sector, our industry remains incredibly fragile post pandemic and this action threatens several large gigs and festivals, many of which are back up and running for the first time in two years. We urge both Government and the RMT to get back around the table and resolve the dispute before the proposed disruption further damages the rest of the UK economy.”
LIVE also threw in a handy stat that they obtained from Ticketmaser – 37% of people travel to festivals by train. Of course, down here in Somerset, there’s the small matter of the Glastonbury Festival that week, with the train accounting for tens of thousands of journeys.
The Night Time Industries Association, always there with a considered reaction, with CEO Michael Kill saying:
“The announcement of UK wide train strikes has sent a shockwave throughout the industry, over concerns for staff and public safety, and the potential impact on trade.”
“Limited Rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available.”
“The transport infrastructure within the night time economy is vitally important to our recovery post pandemic, particularly as we move into peak summer season for festival and events, and a critical time for tourism, who rely heavily on public transport.”
Best have a word with your traffic management providers.
Sorry for sounding weary, been booking coach tickets in my lunch break.