Train services across Cumbria are set to be disrupted again as train drivers prepare to take another bout of strike action in their long running dispute with the government.

Drivers who are members of the ASLEF union are due to take action on Avanti West Coast, Northern and TransPennine Express services.

Avanti drivers will go on strike on Wednesday, May 8 and Northern and TransPennine Express drivers will walk out on Thursday, May 9 causing major disruption to services across Cumbria and the wider area.

With few trains running across the network during the ASLEF industrial action, customers are advised to claim a refund, seek alternative transport, or rearrange journeys for another date.

ASLEF has been in dispute with the train operating companies since the end of the pandemic and were offered a two-year deal worth 4 per cent annually, but with changes to working conditions attached.

The rise was less than that offered to other rail workers and the union is set to continue strike action into the future.

The union’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, said: “It is now a year since we sat in a room with the train companies – and a year since we rejected the risible offer they made and which they admitted, privately, was designed to be rejected.”

"We first balloted for industrial action in June 2022, after three years without a pay rise. It took eight one-day strikes to persuade the train operating companies (Tocs) to come to the table and talk.

"Our negotiating team met the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on eight occasions - the last being on Wednesday 26 April last year.

"That was followed by the Tocs' 'land grab' for all our terms & conditions on Thursday 27 April - which was immediately rejected.

"Since then, train drivers have voted, again and again, to take action to get a pay rise.

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"That's why Mark Harper, the transport secretary, is being disingenuous when he says that offer should have been put to members. Drivers would not vote to strike if they thought an offer was acceptable."

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, said: “This wholly unnecessary strike action called by the ASLEF leadership will sadly disrupt customers and businesses once again, while further damaging the railway at a time when taxpayers are continuing to contribute an extra £54m a week just to keep services running.”