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How can I travel for my Christmas getaway?

T

he Christmas getaway will be disrupted by thousands of workers going on strike.

Here the PA news agency looks at how travel over the festive period will be affected by industrial action.

– Trains

Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are going on strike.

Workers at Network Rail and train companies will walkout on December 13, 14, 16 and 17.

Rail services will be decimated over that period, with many areas having no trains at all.

RMT workers at Network Rail will also strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27.

It is likely that passengers travelling on Christmas Eve will be urged to complete their journeys by the time that industrial action begins.

– Roads

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at National Highways in operational roles on roads and in control centres will take part in a series of staggered strikes from December 16 to January 7.

National Highways, which is responsible for managing England’s motorways and major A-roads, does not expect the strikes to have a significant impact on traffic as only around 8% of its frontline workforce are PCS members.

But many of its routes already suffer from severe congestion during the Christmas getaway.

– Flights

Strikes by Border Force workers from December 23 are likely to cause disruption to passengers.

The PCS union announced that its members at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff airports will walkout.

Extensive passport checks are only carried out on arrival but long queues could see passengers held on planes after they land, causing delays to departures.

In a letter seen by the Times, airlines have been urged by Phil Douglas, director-general of Border Force, to cancel up to 30% of flights on strike days to prevent chaos at airports.

– Sea ports

The only sea port mentioned in the PCS announcement setting out the location of Border Force strikes was Newhaven, East Sussex, from where ferry services operate to and from Dieppe, France.

But the union still has time to reveal that the walkout will also take place in Kent, affecting the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.

That would likely cause severe disruption.

– Eurostar

Eurostar is not affected by the Border Force walkout.

But the RMT union has announced strikes on December 16, 18, 22 and 23 for its members who are employed as security staff by private contractor Mitie at London St Pancras International.

The union said the strikes will “severely affect” cross-Channel train services.

Eurostar said “negotiations between Mitie and the union are ongoing”.

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