Train drivers across Sussex are to stage two days of strike action and a nine-day ban on overtime next month in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Members of the rail union Aslef will walk out on Sunday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 6, causing widespread disruption to services across the county.

Industrial action on December 3 will affect Thameslink services across Sussex, while strikes on December 6 will impact Southern and Gatwick Express services.

Alongside the strikes, all Aslef members will refuse to work any overtime from Friday, December 1 to Saturday, December 9.

Union members will also strike at a number of other rail operators from December 2 to December 8.

Aslef had previously called all its members out on strike on the same day but, by spreading the action, the ramifications for the rail industry would be “greater”.

General secretary of the union Mick Whelan said: “We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019, while the cost of living, in that time, has soared.

“Since the Rail Delivery Group’s risible offer in April, we have received overwhelming mandates, on enormous turnouts, for more industrial action.

“Our members have spoken and we know what they think. Every time they vote, and they have voted overwhelmingly, for strike action in pursuit of a proper pay rise it is a clear rejection of the offer that was made in April.”

Aslef has held 14 one-day strikes during the 18-month dispute, causing huge disruption to services across the country.

Strikes have also been held since June 2022 by members of the RMT union, who are now voting on a deal aimed at resolving their dispute.

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, said: “We are aware that the Aslef union has announced that strike action will take place by its members on December 3 and December 6.

“It has also been announced that there will be a ban on overtime from December 1 until December 9.

“Train service plans for these dates are yet to be confirmed. We will provide further information on our website when it becomes available.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “It is disappointing that Aslef are targeting the public and hospitality businesses at the beginning of the festive period when there is a fair and reasonable pay offer for train drivers on the table that would take their salary up to an average of £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week.

“Taxpayers contributed £1,000 per household to protect train drivers’ jobs during the pandemic. Instead of going on strike, Aslef should be following in the footsteps of other rail unions and giving their members a vote on this fair pay deal.”