Train strikes affecting Sunderland supporters ahead of the busy festive period

Written by on 14th December 2023

National Rail had a planned strike on Saturday 2nd December which affected thousands of Sunderland fans ahead of the clubs visit to Millwall.

Credit: Alamy

Many supporter’s plans were disrupted and in some cases totally ruined.

Patrick Oakley, 42, had his plans thrown into chaos as LNER announced all of their drivers would walk out on the day of Sunderland’s trip to the capital.

Patrick said: “It all turned into a bit of a headache, to be honest.

“We were going to stay over the weekend, but the train cancellations meant we had to change our plans, cancel our hotel and return home straight after the game.

“It was total chaos as the train we were on ended up being a replacement service for another cancelled train, so it was absolutely packed”

Supporters were left looking for alternative travel but several of Sunderland’s leading fan groups did provide added busses heading to Millwall.

Finlay Horsfall, 19, a student from the University of Sunderland, is a frequent user of the National Rail and has experienced first hand the disruption of train strikes.

Finlay said: “I travel to Peterborough from Sunderland every single week and it’s so frustrating when I have to change my plans at the last minute because of strikes.”

“Recently I was stranded in York thanks to rail disruption, and I have been refused in getting my money back.”

Finlay added: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”

Despite this LNER said: “Where an alternative service cannot be provided you would be reimbursed.”

When asked when the strikes may end, LNER added: “This is decided by the unions while ever they are in dispute strikes will continue.”

Unions say that they are striking in order to receive a pay offer reflecting the rising cost of living.

Many other rail strikes have been announced for the month of December, plunging travel during the festive season into chaos.

Current track