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Train strike could ‘hugely impact’ fans attending sports events at end of July

Wembley Stadium will host the Women’s Euro 2022 final on July 31 (Jacob King/PA)
Wembley Stadium will host the Women’s Euro 2022 final on July 31 (Jacob King/PA)

Fans attending the Commonwealth Games, the Community Shield between Manchester City and Liverpool, and the opening weekend of the English Football League are set to be hit by a 24-hour train strike.

Train drivers at eight rail companies – Arriva Rail London, Chiltern Railways, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains – will walk out on July 30 over pay disputes.

The Commonwealth Games begin in Birmingham on July 28, while defending Premier League champions City face last season’s FA Cup winners Liverpool at Leicester’s King Power Stadium on July 30.

Wembley will stage the final of Euro 2022 the following day, but it is feared the strike could also disrupt services running on July 31.

“It’s hugely disappointing that unions have decided to strike during a fantastic Summer of sport which has been in the planning for years,” sport minister Nigel Huddleston tweeted.

“This could hugely impact the spectator experience for those planning to travel by train.

“The strike action comes at a critical stage of the Women’s Euros and the start of the Commonwealth Games.

The opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at the Alexander Stadium on July 28
The opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at the Alexander Stadium on July 28 (David Davies/PA)

“We are working with the @FA, @birminghamcg22 organisers, local councils and transport providers to make sure spectators can get to and from venues safely and efficiently.”

A spokesperson for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organising committee said: “We are aware of the impending rail strikes on July 27 and 30 and we are working with Transport for West Midlands to understand any impact this will have on spectators.

“The West Midlands region is one of the best-connected areas in the country and there is a comprehensive spectator transport plan in place which sets out the many different ways people can travel to and from the Games.

“We encourage everyone to visit the Birmingham 2022 website, where they can find the Games Journey Planner: this outlines all transport options that are available, including national coach services, designated shuttle buses and park and ride sites.”

The bulk of the first round of matches in the new EFL season also take place on July 30.