Train strikes: second day of action set to bring disruption across Britain’s rail network – live | Rail strikes

Second day of action set to bring disruption across Britain’s rail network

Rachel Hall

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators are staging their second strike of the week today after no deal on pay and conditions was reached in tense talks earlier in the week.

Only around one in five trains will run and mainly on main lines during the day, making travel onerous for many passengers across the UK. Network Rail has said that rail services today will “look much like they did on Tuesday”, starting later in the morning and ending early in the evening, around 6.30pm. Passengers have been asked to “only travel by train if necessary”.

Members of the drivers’ union Aslef on Greater Anglia trains will strike on Thursday in a separate dispute over pay. The company, which is also affected by the RMT strike, advised passengers to travel only if it was necessary.

Meanwhile, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has announced that its members at Merseyrail have accepted a 7.1% pay offer.

I’ll be keeping you updated today with all the key events in the UK strikes. Please do get in touch at rachel.hall@theguardian.com if you’ve spotted anything we’ve missed.

Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, has told BBC Breakfast rail workers are not being given a guarantee that reforms will not lead to compulsory redundancies because the picture is too uncertain.

He replied:

What we don’t understand until we start the reform process and we agree the key principles … is how far the reform will be allowed to go.

If we put voluntary severance out to people, how many people will take that voluntary severance? How many people can we retrain and put on to other jobs?

We believe that once we work through with the reform, that we can hopefully accommodate everybody who wants to stay within the organization.

So, we just need to get through the processes and see how many people are left, and hopefully nobody requires to be made compulsory redundant.

Senior network planner Frank Bird, speaking from National Highways’ West Midlands regional operations centre, has told PA that he is pleased drivers have paid attention to motorway gantry signs advising disruption for more than a week.

He said:

I’d like to thank people for taking and heeding our advice.

At the moment, the look and feel of the network is that traffic numbers are down.

If you’re going in and out of town and city centers, they’re a little bit busier. People are struggling to find (and) driving around, to find parking spaces.

The Today program this morning has spoken to some key players involved in the negotiations between the RMT and National Rail to get their perspectives on why talks have broken down again.

Tim Shoveller, regional managing director for Network Rail and lead negotiator, said:

We currently have an offer that totals 3% on the table and we’re keen to improve on that. That’s subject to affordability. The difference between 3% on the table now and the 7.1% deal is £65 million every year.

Eddy Dempsey, assistant general secretary of the RMT, said:

What we can’t understand is how people from the industry can go onto the media and say we have no intention of making people compulsively redunancy but issue us a letter starting the legal process for consultation on redundancy and refuse to give us a no compulsory redundancy guarantee, which is the number one demand we have in this dispute.

Good Morning Britain’s Nitya Gracianna Rajan has tweeted that Newport’s main transport hub saw a rise in passenger numbers on Tuesday compared with the previous week, and is putting on more double decker nozzles along regional commuter routes as a result.

#RailStrikes day 2: the biggest transport hub in Newport, Wales saw a rise in passenger numbers on Tuesday, compared to last week. More double decker buses have been provided along regional commuter routes in anticipation of demand during rush hour this morning. https://t.co/LJithbjldj

— Nitya Gracianna Rajan (@NityaGRajan) June 23, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/NityaGRajan/status/1539854625939005441?s=20&t=Il7JRhlNyFGwn2oswedajA”,”id”:”1539854625939005441″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”1641f294-0fb2-4dc0-be26-98259d7e7ed1″}}”>

#RailStrikes day 2: the biggest transport hub in Newport, Wales saw a rise in passenger numbers on Tuesday, compared to last week. More double decker buses have been provided along regional commuter routes in anticipation of demand during rush hour this morning. https://t.co/LJithbjldj

— Nitya Gracianna Rajan (@NityaGRajan) June 23, 2022

Second day of action set to bring disruption across Britain’s rail network

Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators are staging their second strike of the week today after no deal on pay and conditions was reached in tense talks earlier in the week.

Only around one in five trains will run and mainly on main lines during the day, making travel onerous for many passengers across the UK. Network Rail has said that rail services today will “look much like they did on Tuesday”, starting later in the morning and ending early in the evening, around 6.30pm. Passengers have been asked to “only travel by train if necessary”.

Members of the drivers’ union Aslef on Greater Anglia trains will strike on Thursday in a separate dispute over pay. The company, which is also affected by the RMT strike, advised passengers to travel only if it was necessary.

Meanwhile, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has announced that its members at Merseyrail have accepted a 7.1% pay offer.

I’ll be keeping you updated today with all the key events in the UK strikes. Please do get in touch at rachel.hall@theguardian.com if you’ve spotted anything we’ve missed.

Gwyn Topham

Gwyn Topham

The Guardian’s Gwyn Topham has the full report on how last night’s talks played out, the failure of which has led to today’s second day of strikes.

The head of the RMT hit out at the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, for “wrecking negotiations” in the dispute over pay, working conditions and proposed “modernization” plans to cut costs after the pandemic, he writes.

Shapps said the RMT claim was “a total lie”, while Network Rail claimed the union had walked away from talks.

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