Don Foster MP*

Foster reveals cost of Rail Strikes

Bath MP and Shadow DTLR Secretary Don Foster today released new research to show the likely cost of recent and planned rail strikes.

Main Image Liberal Democrat figures show that the British economy may have lost as much as £149.4 million as a result of strikes carried out and planned on South West Trains and Arriva Northern. Companies will have lost a total of 1,164 years of staff working time.

Don Foster MP said:

“Rail strikes are clearly damaging the economy. Businesses are losing enormous amounts of staff time and enormous amounts of money.

“Companies will have lost a total of 1,164 years of staff working time just from recent and planned strikes. That’s already one quarter of the total delays on the rail network last year.

“The RMT are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. These strikes could be the final straw in turning people away from the railways. The consequences for the jobs of RMT members could be severe.

“We need to reduce fragmentation of the rail network. There must be a reduction in the number of train operating companies.

“But a ‘one size fits all’ national pay bargaining structure, as suggested by Aslef, is outdated. Pay negotiations must be allowed to reflect different market conditions in different regions. Imposing a uniform structure on a fragmented system is not the answer.”


Notes to Editors:

• Liberal Democrat research, shown in the table below, has calculated the total working time lost, and total cost to the economy, of each day an all-out strike by the RMT on those Train Operating Companies where strikes have already taken place, or are threatened.

Potential Working Time and Cost of Strikes

No. of passenger journeys Working time lost for each day of any strike Total cost to economy of each day of any strike
South West Trains 390,000 160 years £20.5m
Arriva Northern 62,877 51 years £6.6m
Connex South Eastern 181,096 149 years £19.1m
Scotrail 86,575 71 years £9.0m
The Whole Network 2.78m 11,404 years £146.0m

• All-out strikes to date: 4 days on South West Trains
• All-out strikes planned: 2 further days on South West Trains; 4 days on Arriva Northern.
• These figures do not include the work-to-rule on Scotrail.

Actual Cost of Time and Cost of Strikes which have taken place / are planned

Working time lost for each day of any strike Total cost to economy of each day of any strike
Strikes which have taken place 640 years £82m
Strikes which are planned 524 years £67.4 m
Total 1,164 years £149.4m

Example of how the figures have been calculated

• South West Trains: 4 days lost to strikes to date, with around 1 in 10 train services running. Each day, on average, 390,000 passenger journeys are made (based on figures from the SRA) = the equivalent of 195,000 journeys to and from work. With only 1 in 10 making it into work, 175,500 do not - each accounting for at least 8 working hours lost. This is a total of 1.4 million working hours, or 160 working years lost for every day of the strike.

The DTLR uses a figure of £14.61 per hour for the cost to British Business of lost time. This means a day strike on SWT is the equivalent of £20.5m.

This article published: 18/09/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank


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