Live updates

Merseyrail workers to strike again after talks break down

A picket at Lime Street during a strike in July. Credit: ITV Granada

A fresh wave of strikes on Merseyrail will go ahead after talks between union leaders and politicians failed to achieve a breakthrough to a bitter dispute over staffing and the role of guards.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on Friday, Sunday and Monday, following stoppages earlier in the year.

The union said it wanted to ask Labour politicians on Merseyside "which side are you on?" after talks with officials, including Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham.

RMT leader Mick Cash said:

"RMT is bitterly disappointed that our efforts to make progress towards a resolution of the Merseyrail guards and safety dispute have been blocked off once again and as a result, the action on Friday, Sunday and Monday goes ahead as planned.

"It was made clear to us that the reason for axing the safety-critical guards on Merseyrail trains is entirely cash-led. At a time when this company is trousering £16 million in profits from passengers on Merseyside, it is disgraceful that they cannot find the £5 million that it would cost to keep the guards on the trains, keep the public safe and maintain disabled access to these lifeline services.

"Labour nationally has set out a clear policy of opposing the great privatised rail rip-off and the profit-led extension of driver only operation.

"RMT has had fantastic support from a large number of Labour MPs, councillors and local parties on Merseyside for our current campaign to keep the guards on our trains and we intend to build on that as we step up the pressure."

– RMT leader Mick Cash.

Advertisement

Claims of 'chronic underfunding by £6 billion' compared to London

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham angry over shortfall Credit: PA

A think tank claims the North West is suffering from chronic underfunding to the tune of 6- billion pounds a year compared to London.

It comes as the Government decided to back the multi- billion pound Crossrail Two scheme in London at the expense of electrification of key routes in the North.

The region's politicians say the new findings are frightning reading:

Anger over region 'missing out' on rail money

There's anger tonight, that just days after after being told that rail electrification in the North West is being cut, multi- billion pound Government backing has been given for London's Crossrail Two scheme.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester says the region has yet again missed out on desperately needed investment at the expense of the South West.

Andy Burnham says people in our region have every right to to feel frustrated:

Disruption to Merseyside commuters for six weeks

There will be no cross-river rail services between The Wirral and Liverpool for six weeks Credit: PA

The 'Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal' programme starts in the new year which will mean no cross-river rail services between the Wirral and Liverpool for six weeks.

Merseytravel are encouraging rail commuters to stick with public transport in order to ease congestion on the roads. However, increased traffic is expected especially through the tunnels.

The work will begin on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Watch the report below:

  • Road users can also call the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000 to keep up to date with road conditions.

Advertisement

Major train disruption due to vandalism

There is major disruption on the trains this morning caused by vandalism at Salford Crescent. We're told some services won't be back up and running until 4pm, there are some replacement buses. The advice is to check before you travel. Trains are cancelled and delayed between:

  • Manchester Airport and Preston.
  • Manchester Piccadilly to Bolton,
  • Manchester PiccadillyChester
  • Manchester Piccadilly Newton-le-Willows
  • Manchester Oxford Rd to Liverpool
Load more updates