Rail passengers warned as rail workers go on strike

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West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway passengers planning to travel today, Saturday 23 November, are being reminded to check their journeys as a reduced timetable will be in operation.

Some parts of the network will have no WMR or LNR trains, including stations between:

  • Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury
  • Kidderminster and Hereford
  • Hereford and Bromsgrove
  • Whitlocks End and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Stratford-upon-Avon and Dorridge
  • Dorridge and Leamington Spa
  • Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley
  • Rugby and Crewe via Nuneaton and Rugeley Trent Valley
  • Crewe and Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent

Trains have been running across the West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway networks despite a second day of disruptive industrial action by members of the RMT union.

A revised timetable has been in operation across both networks in order to keep passengers on the move in the run-up to Christmas.

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: “I would like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding as we operate a reduced service today.

“This industrial action is entirely unnecessary. We have never proposed driver-only operation. We are committed to keeping a safety-critical conductor on every passenger train. The action is benefitting nobody and has caused major inconvenience to passengers and businesses.

“I would also like to thank those members of staff who have been in work today, many of whom have made personal sacrifices to help keep as many people as possible on the move.

“More industrial action is scheduled but we remain determined to find a way of resolving this dispute without further disruption and inconvenience for our passengers.”

Katie Hughes, a commuter travelling between Newark and Stoke-on-Trent said: “I got to the platform at Newark where I was supposed to change for Derby but a man working at the station came and said ‘all the trains are cancelled’.

“I’m very disappointed with the trail service, it just made me stressed for no reason.”

Adam Beech, a commuter who travels between Manchester Picadilly and Stoke-on-Trent by train for work said: “The trains are already ludicrously inconsistent, you are sort of reliant on the trains and you are at the mercy of them.

“Frankly, British transport systems are grossly incompetent. However, I do support people being paid well. I want people to get paid for the work that they do so I am inclined to support strikes.

“I wouldn’t blame the workers, genuinely I’d blame this government and previous governments for not laying down good enough infrastructure.”

West Midlands Trains Head of Corporate Affairs Francis Thomas said: “The RMT has said that they intend to strike every Saturday until the end of the year.

“We think that is unnecessary and disproportionate, it is only going to harm local businesses and people’s Christmas plans as well as essential journeys they have to make in the normal course of their affairs.

“We have made an offer to the RMT, we’ve met their requirements unconditionally and yet still, they are intending to strike.

“We will be happy to continue talks to get this matter resolved as soon as possible.”

For the latest information about how train services are being affected and alternative transport options on Saturday, go to www.wmr.uk/industrialaction or www.lnr.uk/industrialaction and keep up to date with https://staffslive.co.uk/.

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