The AA has today issued a warning to all drivers that they are likely to face long queues as most railway lines will be closed during the industrial strike action on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday as workers take part in what is the biggest walkout in the industry for more than 30 years in a row over pay, jobs, and conditions.
It’s believed that the worst-affected roads are likely to be main motorway arteries, according to the AA, as well as rural and suburban areas.
Scotland and Wales are expected to be the worst hit out of the nations, with the M74, M8 and A9 in Scotland predicted to see severe traffic, and the M4, A55, A5, and A483 in Wales also affected, according to the AA.
Even through the rail strikes are only set for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, delays and cancellations also look likely on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday too.
Many commuters are therefore expected to “give up on trains for the whole week”.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said an impact on the roads was “inevitable”, and the walkouts mean it’s little wonder so many Brits are dependent on their vehicles.
He added: “Major city routes as well as those serving the home counties are likely to see some of the biggest increases in traffic volumes as, even if rail lines are still open, there will be significantly fewer trains running.”
The RMT Union officially confirmed earlier this month that over 50,000 railway workers will walk out on 21, 23 and 25 June due to what is said to be the “inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement” with RMT.
It comes after 71% of RMT 40,000 members took part in a vote, with 89% voting in favour of strike action and only 11% voting against it.
The RMT Union said the strike action is because Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes, and plan to cut thousands of jobs – which will make the railways “unsafe”.
Members of the RMT Union at Network Rail and 13 train operators – including Northern and Avanti West Coast – will subsequently strike this week, with only around one in five trains expected to be running.
Last-minute talks between unions and rail bosses will continue today.
But it’s been revealed that no government representative will be there for the negotiations, and union leaders have accused the government of “abjectly failing” in their responsibilities and “inflaming tensions” over the rail dispute.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government has the power to help end this dispute but rather than working in good faith to find a negotiated settlement, ministers are inflaming tensions and trying to pitch worker against worker… [when they] should be getting people around the table to help agree a fair deal.”
She said nobody takes strike action lightly, but insisted that rail staff have been left with “no other option”.
“Many rail staff who will be hit hardest, such as caterers and cleaners, are on low and average earnings [and] it’s insulting to ask them to take yet another real-terms pay cut when rail companies took £500 million in profits during the pandemic,” she continued.
“If these cuts go ahead, thousands of safety-critical and frontline jobs will be lost.
“We need a better vision for the future of rail than commuters packed on unsafe trains like sardines.”
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood
On Twitter, someone said: “I wouldn’t mind knowing where he is either he’s [flame emoji].”
In all serious though, Humberside Police said of Robert Rimmer: “If you see him, or know where he is, please do not approach him but instead call us immediately on our non-emergency 101 line quoting investigation reference 20900368291.
“If you would prefer to report information anonymously you can do so via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”