Great Western Rail train drivers mounted a picket line outside Reading train station on Wednesday, May 8, as they took their turn in a week of rolling strikes.

Members of the ASLEF union at several train operating companies are striking this week in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.

It was the turn of drivers on Great Western Rail to strike on Wednesday, May 8, while those on South Western Railway struck the day before.

The strike forced Great Western Railway not to run trains between London Paddington and Reading, as well long distance services. The company also said it is running limited services from Reading to Oxford, Basingstoke, Redhill and Newbury.

READ MORE: Great Western Railway strike to continue says ASLEF union

Six strikers mounted the picket line on the square outside the main entrance to Reading strain station on Wednesday morning. Strikers said they were not allowed to speak to the press, but the union says train drivers have not had a pay increase for five years, while the cost of living has increased.

The Rail Delivery Group – which represents train operators – called the strikes ‘wholly unnecessary’ and said they would ‘sadly disrupt journeys once again'.

The dispute began in June 2022 and talks between ASLEF and the Rail Delivery Group stalled in April last year.

The Rail Delivery Group says it has now written to ASLEF to ‘try and find areas of common ground.’ ASLEF union leaders have said they are ‘willing to talk.’