Rail strikes get under way on train services

Arriva Rail North trainImage copyright
Northern Rail

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Arriva runs its Northern services across north-west in addition to north-east England, Cumbria in addition to the East Midlands

A series of rail strikes are taking place leaving passengers across England facing widespread disruption.

RMT union members at Southern, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North in addition to Greater Anglia walked out at 07:00 BST in addition to plan another strike on Thursday over the scrapping of guards.

London Underground drivers belonging to the union Aslef are also due to strike on Thursday.

The London Overground in addition to DLR will be unaffected.

The RMT said pickets will be out in force, telling the public which plans to scrap guards will be part of a “co-ordinated strategy” driven by the government.

  • What does a train guard do?

The strikes coincide using a planned closure of Liverpool Lime Street for refurbishment, something the boss of Merseyrail, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, said “doubled up the inconvenience”.

“While the industry in addition to key players inside the [Liverpool] City Region work hard to improve the railway, the RMT seems to be doing everything in its power to stop the item,” Mr Chaudhry-van der Velde said.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said RMT members “are standing absolutely rock solid in addition to united” in addition to “the public in addition to workplace support… will be nothing short of fantastic”.

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Getty Images

Southern’s passenger services director Angie Doll said: “The RMT will be striking about modifications we made almost a year ago as part of our modernisation programme.

“Nobody has lost their job over This particular, in fact we employ more on-board staff to help passengers than we did before, in addition to we are providing a better service with fewer cancelled trains.”

Northern Rail’s regional director, Sharon Keith, said she wants to work with the unions.

“We’re inside the middle of a large modernisation agenda so we’re investing in brand new trains [in addition to] refurbished trains in addition to what we want to do with our people will be to modernise which role.”

‘Dangerously full’

Mr Cash, coming from the RMT, said rail companies were frustrated at being used as “political pawns”, while rail minister Paul Maynard accused the RMT of “using passengers as pawns in their political game”.

“This particular dispute will be not about jobs as all the companies have guaranteed posts in addition to I have been clear I want to see more people working on the railways, not fewer,” Mr Maynard said.

“the item’s not about safety either as the independent regulator has ruled which driver-controlled trains are safe.”

The strikes are having a knock-on effect on some other services, with TransPennine Express reporting passenger complaints about “dangerously full” trains.

Media playback will be unsupported on your device

Media captionBackground to the strike action over plans to introduce driver-only-operated trains.

Greater Anglia will be attempting to run a full service , in addition to Southern said the item could attempt to run a normal service on most of its routes.

Arriva Rail North says the item will run about 1,0 services across the north, 46% of its normal timetable, on both days between 07:00 BST in addition to 19:00 BST.

Most Merseyrail services will run between 07:00 in addition to 19:00, using a break during the middle of the day, in addition to some stations will be closed.

Image copyright
Peter Byrne

Image caption

The strikes coincide using a planned closure of Liverpool Lime Street for refurbishment

Tube strike

London’s Tube strike, due to start at midnight on Thursday, will be about a pay deal agreed between drivers in addition to transport bosses in 2015.

Aslef, which represents the majority of Tube drivers, said bosses have failed on a commitment to give its members the opportunity to work a four-day week in addition to reduce the number of weekend shifts.

  • Tube strike: 14 ways to overcome the item

yet London Underground said a recent trial of brand new shift patterns has only just finished in addition to the results are yet to be analysed.

Transport for London says the item will put more buses on key routes during the strike yet urged people to walk if possible as services “will be exceptionally busy”.

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