Brits hit by New Year’s Eve chaos amid train strikes and Covid staff shortages

Thousands of revellers preparing to travel cross-country ahead of the festivities are being advised to check their journey

Up to 100,000 Scottish and Welsh revellers are preparing to travel to England over New Year
Up to 100,000 Scottish and Welsh revellers are preparing to travel to England over New Year

New Year’s Eve travel chaos is set to hit the UK with planned strikes at major stations and staff shortages due to Covid.

Brits are pouring into parts of England to welcome in the New Year after Covid restrictions tightened in the rest of the UK.

Passengers are being warned to check for delays and cancellations before they travel, amid strikes, engineering works and Covid-related staff shortages.

As many as 100,000 Scottish and Welsh punters are expected to head to England after Boris Johnson confirmed he would not be introducing new measures impacting New Year.

Staff at Edinburgh Waverly Station will be on strike for 24 hours from Friday as swathes of Scots prepare to cross the border.

CrossCountry trains to and from Glasgow will also be disrupted and run from Edinburgh instead due to engineering works.

Delays are expected on LNER trains to and from Leeds


Elliott Franks)

In England, all Southern trains into London Victoria are cancelled until mid-January due to Covid-related staff shortages.

Northern services from Leeds will be cancelled with a bus replacement service operating from Leeds to Horsforth and Leeds to Knottingley via Wakefield.

CrossCountry and LNER trains in and out of the city will be hit by delays due to station engineering work.

A limited train service will run from Leeds to Bradford Interchange and Kirkstall Forge.

Meanwhile at Bristol Parkway, no CrossCountry trains will stop at the station on New Year’s Eve due to rail works.

Plus all Great Western Railway journeys between Gloucester and Bristol Parkway will be replaced by buses.

Strike action will severely limit CrossCountry train services on New Year’s Eve following earlier strikes on Christmas Eve.

Scots are being asked to limit social mixing over New Year


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said train managers and senior conductors voted for action as they felt the firm was trying to undermine the role of train guards.

Those on strike are calling on bosses to stop forcing other employees to act as train guards in a supposed cost-cutting exercise.

There will be no New Year’s Eve service between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh, Derby and Nottingham, Peterborough and Stansted, Cheltenham Spa and Cardiff Central, Newton Abbot and Paignton, and Plymouth and Penzance.

Limited trains will operate between Manchester Piccadilly and Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Plymouth, and Birmingham New Street and Peterborough.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the travel disruption “could have been avoided” if rail companies had taken staff grievances seriously.

Travellers arriving in London after the Scottish government restricted NYE celebrations in Scotland.


Elliott Franks)

He said members were “standing up for all rail workers in their New Year’s Eve action” and that Gate Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverly station were also set to strike on Friday in a separate dispute over bullying allegations.

A CrossCountry spokesperson said: “We are advising customers to alter their plans where possible and to avoid travel on Friday 31 December.

“We recommend you check your journey before you travel by using National Rail Enquiries.”

Southern Rail has been hit by Covid-related staff shortages which means all trains into London Victoria are cancelled until January 10.

The network confirmed trains will not be stopping at London Victoria, Clapham Junction, Battersea Park or Wandsworth Common.

Services will not run from East Croydon to London Bridge, Epsom to London Bridge, or Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes.

Passengers are advised to check their routes with some being diverted.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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