Economy

Strikes set to hit Southern and Greater Anglia trains

Strikes set to hit Southern and Greater Anglia trains”

Rail users in the region face further delays following confirmation of the latest in a series of strikes over safety fears.

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They will be joined by colleagues at Southern, Merseyrail and Greater Anglia with the action coinciding with the Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester.

Greater Anglia have been given every opportunity to give a guarantee on the future role of the guard on their services. "Don't they want Liverpool to succeed?"

During Mersey Rail's last strike in September, on one day there were no trains running on the Ellesmere Port, Hunts Cross and Kirkby lines. They have failed to do so and that left us with no alternative but to move to a ballot in the interests of rail safety.

He said: "The failure to get those talks moving following our face-to-face meeting with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has left us no option but to call further action".

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said the union wanted to resolve all the disputes with talks including the Department for Transport.

Merseyrail have information on the strike on their website.

Why are Merseyrail staff striking?

Arrive Rail North has run an emergency timetable on strike days with around 40 per cent of Northern trains still operating.

The RMT claims the move to driver-only trains - leaving drivers to open and close the train doors rather than guards - is risky.

It means the roles of the 220 safety-critical guards, who now manage the doors, will be redundant. "We have trained additional people as conductors to enable us to do so".

A statement on the Merseyrail website says: "New state-of-the art trains that are safer, faster and more reliable will be introduced on the Merseyrail network by 2020".

"RMT pays tribute to our Southern Rail guards and drivers who have stood firm for 18 months in the fight for rail safety despite outrageous abuse and intimidation from the company".

It adds: "As things stand, none of today's guards will be forced to leave Merseyrail's employment".

The RMT has confirmed that members will down tools in the on-going dispute about the introduction of driver-only operated trains and the role of the guard.

But the safety warning has been rejected by independent rail safety watchdogs, with driver-only trains operating across the United Kingdom for decades.



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