Commuters warned trains will stop early tonight due to rail strikes
Time to make a break for it! Commuters are warned that trains will stop running early tonight due to rail strikes with many final services starting mid-evening
- Trains started later than normal, at about 7.30am, and will also finish earlier
- READ MORE: Commuters’ fury as they face yet another day of travel chaos
Commuters are being warned that trains will stop running much earlier than normal today because of strikes.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at 14 train operating companies walked out in a long-running row over pay, jobs and conditions.
Trains started later than normal, at about 7.30am, and will finish earlier than usual, at around 6.30pm.
This has affected operators such as CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, Northern and Southeastern.
Across Britain, between 40-50 per cent of normal weekday services were expected to run, but some areas have had no trains all day.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), joins union members on the picket line outside Euston station
Disruption is likely to continue into Friday as many trains will not be at the usual depots overnight.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the dispute is ‘stuck in a deadlock’ because the latest offer is ‘underfunded’.
He said: ‘The Government backs up the train operating companies and gives them their mandate.
‘They’ve offered a pay proposal that’s 5% for last year and 4% for the coming year, which is way below the rate of inflation.
‘But they’ve said all of those pay increases such as they are – which amount to pay cuts – have got to be funded by changes to our members’ working conditions.
‘So it’s a self-funded pay rise really, and that’s very difficult for us because the conditions they’re putting on that deal are just not acceptable to our people.’
‘So we’re stuck in a deadlock really where the offer is underfunded, the conditions are not acceptable and we haven’t got a way forward.’
The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, claimed the RMT has ‘blocked the chance to resolve this dispute’ by not putting the latest offer to a vote of its members.
A quiet Euston Station this morning as industrial action crippled much of the country’s rail system
Southeastern trains in sidings at Ramsgate station in Kent after services were disrupted
A Department for Transport spokesperson urged the RMT to ‘put the Rail Delivery Group’s very fair offer to a democratic vote of their members’.
Rail commuters were left furious today as train services across Britain were crippled by a national strike on top of a second day of disruption from the Tube walkout.
All London Underground lines were still suspended today as the impact of yesterday’s strike was felt during this morning’s rush hour
Passengers tweeted that rail workers ‘really are pushing the public’s patience’ and said the strikes are ‘going to be the death of me’ as they struggled to get to work.
Others said they had ‘never been more excited about automated robots replacing human workers’ and asked: ‘At this pointed, why am I paying for a travelcard?’
The London Underground strike which began yesterday had a major impact into the morning rush hour, with stations closed and services not running until mid-morning.
Services tomorrow morning may also be disrupted because much of the rolling stock will not be in the right depots, before a second rail strike begins on Saturday.
Nationally, all rail passengers were being warned to expect disruption today and on Saturday, and again on future strike dates on March 30 and April 1.
Teachers in England and university staff will also be on strike in a continuation of a walkout yesterday, when they took part in one of the single biggest days of action in a decade.
Up to half a million teachers, lecturers, junior doctors, civil servants, London Underground drivers, BBC journalists and Amazon employees stopped work on Budget day.
PUTNEY BRIDGE: People wait to get into Putney Bridge station in South West London today
PINNER: Passengers wait for Pinner station in North West London to open this morning
Union officials at a rally in London attended by tens of thousands of strikers and supporters said the strike sent a strong message to the Government over its handling of the disputes.
Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group, said: ‘This latest round of strikes will be a further inconvenience to our customers, who have already experienced months of disruption, and cost our people even more money at a time they can least afford it.
‘They will also be asking why the RMT leadership blocked the chance to resolve this dispute by refusing to give their members – many of whom would have benefited from a 13 per cent increase – a say on their own deal.
‘Unfortunately, while we will pull out all the stops to keep as many trains running as possible, there will be reduced services across many parts of the rail network on all four strike days, so our advice is to check before you travel.’
LOUGHTON: Commuters outside Loughton station this morning as they wait for it to open
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