A lone commuter prepares to pass through a tube ticket barrier at King's Cross railway station in London on July 27, 2022 as fresh railway strikes hit the country. - Around 40,000 British railway workers staged a walkout, a month after the largest strike in 30 years as the UK battles its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. (Photo by CARLOS JASSO / AFP)

A strike by train drivers has once again brought rail traffic to a standstill in large parts of Great Britain. Thousands of members of the train drivers’ union Aslef called for higher wages and more security for their jobs.

The strike at seven private rail companies on Saturday hit visitors to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as well as scores of football fans en route to their teams’ first game of the season.

E-mobility, transport policy and future mobility: the briefing on transport and smart mobility. For decision makers

It was only on Wednesday that tens of thousands of members of the RMT railway union had stopped work. Both unions have again announced several strikes for August.

The conservative government was outraged by the industrial action. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps accused the unions of refusing necessary reforms and delaying collective bargaining at the expense of taxpayers. “Enough!” Shapps wrote in the Times newspaper.

Aslef Secretary General Mick Whelan then accused the minister of lying and called on him to mediate in the negotiations. RMT boss Mick Lynch had previously threatened a general strike if the government implemented its announced plans and curtailed the unions’ right to strike.

The head of the rail association Rail Delivery Group, Steve Montgomery, was disappointed with the strikes and defended the planned savings and cuts.