The head of Britain’s hospitality trade body has warned that the railway strike “will not be a one-off” for the industry, which is likely to be affected for the rest of the year.
“There is talk of continued new strikes, so we are likely to see an impact for the rest of 2022,” UKHospitality manager Kate Nicholls said.
“We’re seeing people canceling events, but they’re not comfortable rebooking them because they don’t know when the next strikes are coming.”
The hospitality industry group estimated the strike will cost the sector between £540-1billion as people are unable to travel across the country, affecting bars, hotels, clubs, theatres, restaurants and tourism.
She said the strike ‘couldn’t come at a worse time’ for the hospitality sector and warned it could ‘deal a fatal financial blow to businesses already struggling to survive’.
Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, apologized on Tuesday morning for the disruption caused by the strikes.
“Can I first say how deeply sorry I am for everyone trying to move across the country today,” he told BBC Radio 4. Today program.
“We did everything we could to avoid this through talks that lasted over 18 months. We have now worked very hard to train. . . people to maintain a minimum level of service.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said unions are “harming the very people they claim to help”.
“By continuing these strikes from the railroads, they are driving away commuters who ultimately support the jobs of railroad workers, while impacting businesses and communities across the country,” he said. .