1. ITV Report

Carlisle railway services affected by strike action

Northern Rail. Credit: ITV Border

Railway passengers in Carlisle face major disruption today, because of strike action.

Workers from the Rail and Maritime Union are holding a 24-hour walkout in a dispute over train operator Arriva Rail North's plans to change the role of train guards.

All Northern services from Carlisle railway station are affected, including trains to and from Newcastle and West Cumbria.

Passengers travelling on the Settle-Carlisle service, and between Oxenholme and Windermere, will also be affected.

Northern says it will run as many services as possible, and will provide replacement buses.

It's the third time RMT members have walked out, to protest against plans for driver-only trains to come into service in 2020.

The sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North means that the action this Friday goes ahead as planned.

The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company.

We are angry and frustrated that Arriva have thrown out a perfectly reasonable proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three-way talks aimed at finding a solution.

– Mick Cash, RMT general secretary

Arriva Rail North, who operate the Northern service, said the strike action was "disappointing".

Our employees want us to talk about changes we need to make to the on-board role as we modernise our railway. We believe we would keep a second person on many of our services and, at some locations, we may choose to staff the station to give better support to customers.

In addition to protecting jobs and current pay, we are also willing to offer future, annual pay reviews for existing conductors if we can agree a deal with RMT.

It is hugely disappointing that RMT is making demands rather than working with us to develop our plans. There is so much to discuss and we urge them to get back round the table.

– Richard Allan, deputy managing director of Arriva Rail North