UK rail passengers warned of severe disruption in the new year

Rail passengers have been told to avoid some services for two weeks and trains will be “significantly disrupted” in most parts of the country into the new year.

The warning from Network Rail came as some services resumed on Tuesday following a Christmas closure and several days of strike by RMT union members.

A combination of industrial action and engineering works meant trains started late on Tuesday than usual or did not run at all. Due to the strike in crosscountry, services between Cardiff and the Midlands and London Stansted Airport were cut.

Trains are expected to be busier than usual until New Year’s Day, a week before a nationwide strike by members of the RMT and Aslef unions from 3 January.

Network Rail, which manages Britain’s railways on behalf of the UK government, warned commuters to expect severe disruption in the new year, and urged them to avoid travel on some routes until at least 9 January .

It states: “Rail passengers who use the west coast mainline and rail routes in the West Midlands from London Euston to Carlisle, [the north-west]Merseyside and Cumbria are being advised to only travel by train if absolutely necessary between 24 December and 8 January.

Crosscountry, which runs services between Penzance and Aberdeen, told its passengers to expect serious disruption until at least 7 January due to industrial action.

TSSA union members in the crosscountry began a 24-hour strike at 9pm on Boxing Day as part of a long-running campaign to guarantee no mandatory redundancies, no disagreeable changes to terms and conditions, and a There is a wage increase that addresses the growing problems. the cost of living.

TSSA members work in roles in customer service management, driver management, training, control, customer communications, security, scheduling and planning. Managers are based at stations including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and Plymouth.

On Monday TSSA tweeted a message of “solidarity” to its crosscountry members. It said: “Railway employees are demanding basic fair treatment: not to be dismissed from their jobs; A reasonable increment in the event of a living crisis and there is no bar in the terms and conditions.

TSSA members on Great Western Railway will strike from noon on Wednesday until 11.59 a.m. on Thursday and on West Midlands trains from noon on Wednesday until noon on Thursday.

TSSA organizing director Nadine Rae said: “Our members in crosscountry do not want to strike, especially over the Christmas holiday period, but they are tired and exhausted. deserve a pay raise, and they rightly demand job security.

“The company, like all train operators under the control of the Department for Transport, needs to face up to the fact that only serious proposals that meet our aspirations will bring an end to this dispute.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “After two years of virtual Christmas, the British public deserves better than their festive celebrations affected by the strike. The Transport Secretary and Railways Minister have worked hard to facilitate a fair and reasonable resolution, which has been accepted by the two unions, and it is incredibly disappointing that some are continuing to strike. We urge them to step back, reconsider, and come back to the table, so we can begin 2023 by ending this damaging dispute.


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