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A traveller at Kings Cross station on June 25, 2022Hollie Adams

Widespread disruption to train services is expected on Saturday as drivers from seven operators walk out over pay.

A 24-hour strike by about 5,000 members of the Aslef union will affect lines across England – including Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.

Travel to the first games of the season for most English Football League clubs, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and a Lady Gaga gig will be impacted.

It adds to a summer of misery for passengers after a series of walkouts.

The latest strike will also affect Arriva Rail London – which operates the London Overground – Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, and Heathrow Express.

No trains will run on Southeastern and operators including Great Western Railway and LNER will have severely-reduced services.

The disruption to London Overground and Greater Anglia will affect travel to and from Lada Gaga’s Chromatica Ball in Tottenham.

There will also be no Overground services into the early hours of Sunday.

West Midlands Trains has said it will only operate a “special shuttle” between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International as thousands attend the Commonwealth Games in the city.

Passengers are advised to check the latest information before they travel, and allow extra time for their journey.

Trains run by operators not involved in the strike are likely to be busy.

Further strikes are planned in August by Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union in the row over pay, jobs and conditions.

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‘Unnecessary stress’

Fiona and Mark

Mark and Fiona are a couple from Winchester who are due to travel to a wedding on Saturday.

“This will seriously affect our plans for travelling to a wedding in Kent. Now we have no choice but to drive, and there will be so much traffic,” Fiona told the BBC.

“It’s causing me a lot of anxiety and unnecessary stress,” she added.

Her husband Mark said that three people due to sit on their table at the wedding cannot come as there are no trains for them – and they do not drive.

“These are the groom’s work colleagues. It’s really sad and makes me angry,” said Mark. “It’s unfair that the wedding plans are being spoiled at the last minute.”

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Steve Montgomery, chairman of the Rail Delivery Group, said bosses were “really disappointed that the Aslef leadership has decided to impose yet more uncertainty and disruption for passengers and businesses”.

“Further strikes will see our people out of pocket and mean less money to fund a pay rise, so we urge the Aslef leadership to resume talks,” he added.

Aslef’s Simon Weller said: “The key issue for our members is they don’t want to see yet another real terms pay cut for the third year in a row. We’ve been trying to negotiate a settlement for this year but we’ve met a brick wall.

“We would be happy to meet the Rail Delivery Group whenever. But they have to be for meaningful negotiations. They also have to bring something to the table that addresses the cost of living crisis.”

Passengers faced disruption on Wednesday due to another rail strike.

Around 40,000 RMT union members at Network Rail and 14 other train companies walked out over pay, job cuts and changes to terms and conditions.

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