Services will only operate 7.30am to 6.30pm on strike days, and not all stations will be served
The strike action will take place over three days – Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June – with only 22 per cent of usual rail services expected to run on those days.
Services will only operate 7.30am to 6.30pm on strike days, and not all stations will be served.
The industrial action involves members of the RMT rail union at Network Rail and 13 train operators, who voted 8:1 in favour of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions.
According to the RMT, it is “the biggest dispute on the network since 1989”.
This morning, transport secretary Grant Shapps called the action “an incredible act of self-harm by the [RMT] union leadership,” telling rail workers “Don’t risk striking yourselves out of a job.”
Follow the latest news and updates below.
Which trains will be running during the rail strikes?
During the planned nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June, only 22 per cent of passenger train services will run – most of them on key links to and from London.
A senior rail source said the plan was to run “as decent a rail service as we can”.
Across Great Britain, 4,500 of the usual 20,000 daily passenger trains are expected to run.
Here are the key links that are still expected to run:
In the forthcoming strikes by Network Rail signallers, only about 20% of lines will open for trains
Rail strikes ‘an incredible act of self-harm’ says Shapps
Next week’s rail strikes are “an incredible act of self-harm by the [RMT] union leadership,” the transport secretary has said.
Grant Shapps was speaking at a train depot in north London, where he described the forthcoming industrial action as “a bid to derail reforms that are critical to the network’s future, and designed to inflict damage at the worst possible time”.
He said: “Make no mistake, unlike the past 25 years, when rising passenger demand year after year was taken for granted by the industry, today the railway is in a fight.
“It’s not only competing against other forms of public and private transport. It’s in a battle with Zoom, Teams and remote working.
“In case the unions haven’t noticed, the world has changed.”
He issued an appeal to rail workers, saying he believes they are “less militant” than their union leaders.
“Don’t risk striking yourselves out of a job,” he said.
Half of Britain’s rail lines will be closed during strikes on June 21, 23 and 25.
What has Network Rail said about the strikes?
Network Rail has told train users to only travel if necessary over the three strike days next week, as well as suggesting that disruption could spill over into the non-strike days around them.
“Make no mistake, the level of service we will be able to offer will be significantly compromised and passengers need to take that into account and to plan ahead and only travel if it’s really necessary to do so,” said Network Rail boss Andrew Haines.
“Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days with a very limited service running on lines that are open from around 07.30 until 18.30,” reads a statement published by Network Rail on Wednesday.
It published two maps showing the train routes that will run on next week’s strike dates, showing a clear swathe of train-free land in Wales.
Several train operators whose employees will join the strike – including Southeastern, TransPennine and Avanti West Coast – have similarly urged passengers to stay at home or use other means of transport if possible.
Why are rail workers going on strike?
Britain’s biggest rail union, the RMT, has called three days of industrial action next week – affecting both Network Rail and 13 train operators.
The dispute is over pay, redundancies and “a guarantee there will be no detrimental changes to working practices”.
The RMT union says: “Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multi-year pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe.”
The union’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, has vowed “a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system”.
Read the full story:
In the forthcoming strikes by Network Rail signallers, only about 20% of lines would be open for trains – many of which might not run anyway
Key tourism counties, cities, resorts and great rail rides off limits
With half the rail network expected to be closed during the strikes, holidaymakers relying on trains will face serious problems.
In southwest England, Cornwall and Dorset will see no trains at all. Key cities with no rail services include Aberdeen, Swansea, Chester and Hull.
Many resorts around the UK will be off-limits, too – including every seaside town in Scotland and Wales, plus Blackpool and Southport in the northwest, Bridlington and Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast, and every resort in East Anglia, Kent and Sussex apart from Brighton. The seaside town of Skegness is disconnected, but Cleethorpes will see some trains.
Some lovely stretches of line are closed, including all scenic routes through Wales and Scotland and Settle to Carlisle in northern England.
Wales and Scotland will see entire networks nearly wiped out by rail strikes
Wales and Scotland will be hit harder by the rail strikes than the rest of the UK, with almost all of their lines closing.
In Wales, only a few of the Valley lines into Cardiff and the link from the Welsh capital to Newport and into will be England open.
Everything else – west of Cardiff, through the middle of the nation, along the north coast and connections with Chester and the Midlands – is closed.
Scotland fares slightly better, with Edinburgh and Glasgow connected to London by the East and West Coast main lines respectively. Services in the central belt will include half-hourly trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk; Bathgate to Edinburgh; and Glasgow to Hamilton and Lanark.
But anything north or west – including the lines to Dumfries, Stranraer, Oban, Fort William, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness – will be closed.
In addition, the Caledonian Sleeper train will not run between London Euston and Scotland’s main cities.
Rail strike will ‘compromise safety’ for hospitality staff, says NTIA
The Night Time Industries Association has warned that the rail strike will jeopardise the safety of hospitality staff – as well as hitting revenue and tourism.
The chief executive, Michael Kill, said: “The announcement of UK wide train strikes has sent a shockwave throughout the industry, over concerns for staff and public safety, and the potential impact on trade.
“Limited rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available.
“The transport infrastructure within the night time economy is vitally important to our recovery post pandemic, particularly as we move into peak summer season for festival and events, and a critical time for tourism, who rely heavily on public transport.”
‘Country faces being brought to a standstill by Putin apologists’ says Tory MP
A Conservative MP has said “Russian-sympathising, militant communists” in the RMT union are behind the rail strike.
Chris Loder, who represents West Dorset and who worked for the railway for 20 years, told the Commons: “This country faces being brought to a standstill by Putin apologists—Russian-sympathising, militant communists who are bankrolling the Labour party to the extent that they have bought its silence.
“We cannot allow that to happen. There is a deeply sinister element to these strikes… We want to see staff on the railways have a pay rise, but we also need to ensure that we make the railway fit for purpose.”
During next week’s strikes no trains will run in West Dorset or any other part of the county.
What dates will the strikes take place?
The planned strikes by RMT members working for Network Rail and 13 different train operators are set for the following dates:
- Tuesday 21 June
- Thursday 23 June
- Saturday 25 June
On strike days, services will only operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm, and not all stations will be served.
However, union leaders told rail travellers to expect major disruption “for the entire week where the three days of action have been called”.
Another rail union, TSSA, is balloting Network Rail staff in the coming weeks on further strike action. If this goes ahead it is expected to start from Monday, July 25.
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