GREAT Western Railway is warning travellers that there will be no trains between London Paddington and Bristol, South Wales and Exeter/Plymouth this coming Sunday, December 3, because of industrial action by drivers’ union Aslef.
As a result, fewer drivers are available to work and this particularly affects longer-distance services on Sunday.
Some parts of the GWR network will have no service at all, including no long-distance trains out of London Paddington.
Customers are advised to travel before the weekend or after Sunday. Where GWR can run services, a very limited service will run, they will run less frequently, and are likely to be extremely busy.
Trains will also start later and finish earlier, and customers are advised to check the time of last trains. Bus replacement services are not able to be operated.
Customers travelling from the West towards Bath for the Bath Christmas Market or the crunch Premiership Rugby match between Bath and Exeter Chiefs are warned that services will be extremely busy, and there will be significant queues to board trains home.
You are advised to use alternative transport to these events and we would suggest you visit Bath on another day as both Saturday and Sunday will be extremely disrupted by this industrial action.
To help customers, tickets for strike days are valid for travel on alternative days on GWR services, as per below:
• Tickets for Saturday 2 December to Friday 8 December can be used the day before or up to and including Tuesday 12 December.
Other train operators are also affected by this action, so onward travel will also be affected. A limited service on Sunday will run only on the following routes between:
• London Paddington towards Didcot
• Oxford and Worcestershire
• London branch lines
• Reading and Basingstoke
• Reading and Newbury/Bedwyn
• Westbury and Swindon
• Cheltenham/Gloucester and Swindon
• Cardiff and Portsmouth
• Cardiff and Exeter St Davids via Weston-Super-Mare
• Bristol and Gloucester/Cheltenham/Worcester
• Bristol and Westbury/Weymouth
• Plymouth and Penzance
• Plymouth and Exeter
• Devon and Cornwall branch lines.
Customers are advised to travel before the weekend or after Sunday. If you intend to travel where trains are running, please check before you travel as they will be busy and are likely to be disrupted.
Due to planned engineering work the Night Riviera Sleeper service is cancelled, and Guildford to Gatwick services are cancelled (buses replace trains between Reading and Guildford).
Customers are advised that South Western Railway services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids will be subject to major disruption and diversions. This is due to industrial action and major engineering work between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction. Services are likely to be extremely busy.
The Aslef union announced strike action that will affect GWR and CrossCountry rail services on Thursday, December 7.
In addition, the union announced action short of a strike from Friday, December 1 to Saturday, December 9, which is likely to cause some short-notice alterations and cancellations, especially at weekends or late at night.
A rolling programme of strike action by the union affecting other rail operators is also due to take place between these dates.
On December 7, a reduced and revised timetable will operate across several train operators, including GWR. Many parts of the GWR network will have no service at all and trains that are running will only be operating for a limited period during the day.
On the days after strikes, services could also be affected by a limited number of short-notice cancellations and alterations.
Season-ticket holders can apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme. GWR Refund policy remains in place. If you hold a return ticket, you can claim a refund of your unused full fare, even if only one leg of your journey is affected.