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Passengers told to only travel ‘if necessary’ as rail workers strike nationwide

Network Rail said all train operators may be affected, whether they are part of the dispute or not.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th July 2022

Passengers are once again being told to plan ahead and only travel “if necessary” as rail workers strike nationwide today.

Network Rail is warning all those intending on travelling by train that services will be “severely disrupted” on Wednesday as a result of another national strike called by the leadership of the RMT Union, and while it has confirmed that thousands of specially-trained back-up staff will step in during the one-day walkout, only a fifth of services will be running on around half of the network.

Passengers are asked to only travel by train “if they must”, allow extra time for journeys, and check when their last train will depart, Network Rail advises.

Over 40,000 rail workers are to walk out for 24-hours.

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After talks failed to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs, and conditions, members of the RMT Union and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at Network Rail and 14 other regional rail operators are to take industrial action – with Northern, TransPennine Express, and Avanti West Coast all confirmed to take part.

Network Rail said all operators may be affected, whether they are part of the dispute or not.

People are also being told that they should expect disruption on the morning of Thursday 28 July too, with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

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“The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay,” said Mick Lynch – General Secretary at RMT Union.

“Strike action is the only course open to us to make both the rail industry and government understand that this dispute will continue for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement.

“The public who will be inconvenienced by our strike action need to understand that it is the government’s shackling of Network Rail and the TOCs that means the rail network will be shut down for 24 hours.”

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Read more: Railway workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of ‘biggest strike’ in decades

Andrew Haines – Chief Executive at Network Rail – said: “Despite our best efforts to find a breakthrough, I’m afraid there will be more disruption for passengers as the RMT seems hell-bent on continuing their political campaigning, rather than compromising and agreeing a deal for their members.”

“It is frustrating to yet again ask our passengers to change their plans and only make essential journeys,” he added.

Over 40,000 rail workers are to walk out for 24-hours nationwide on Wednesday / Credit: Network Rail

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport (DfT) also said in response: “The rail industry has to modernise and be brought into the 21st century for the benefit of passengers and staff [and] we’re extremely disappointed to see that instead of staying at the table, RMT executives have chosen to walk away once more.

“We continue to encourage RMT to do the right thing by their members and passengers alike and call off the strikes.”

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Find out more about planned industrial action on the National Rail website.

Featured Image – Network Rail