Train drivers are to stage a series of fresh strikes across Cumbria and take on an overtime ban in their long-running dispute over pay, causing more travel chaos for passengers.

Members of Aslef will take part in a rolling programme of one-day strikes from January 30 to February 5 and ban overtime for nine days from January 29.

The union said it wanted to put pressure on “intransigent” train operating companies as well as the “tone-deaf Tory government” to give train drivers their first pay rise in almost five years.

Drivers will strike at Northern Trains and TransPennine Trains on Wednesday, January 31 and on Avanti West Coast services on Saturday, February 3.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We have given the Government every opportunity to come to the table, but it has now been a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport. It’s clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

“Many of our members have not had a single penny increase to their pay for half a decade, during which time inflation has soared and, with it, the cost of living.

“Train drivers didn’t even ask for an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic when we worked throughout lockdown as key workers, risking our lives, to move goods around the country and to enable NHS and other workers to get to work.

“The Tory government has now tried its old trick of changing the rules. When they couldn’t win they brought in minimum service levels legislation.

“But this new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won’t ease industrial strife. It will just make it worse.

“There is, frankly, no excuse for this nonsense. The Government and train operating companies (TOCs) should come to the table with a realistic offer so we can end this dispute and work together to ensure the future of our railways.”

READ MORE: More than £1,500 raised for cockapoo's hip dysplasia surgery

The, strikes, which will cripple train services across Cumbria could be the first test of new regulations aimed at ensuring a minimum level of service during strikes, set at 40 per cent in the transport sector.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: “Nobody wins when strikes impact lives and livelihoods, and they’re particularly difficult to justify at a time when taxpayers are continuing to contribute an extra £54 million a week to keep services running post-Covid.

“Rail companies have made a fair and reasonable offer, and we would encourage them to step back from this action.”