‘Solid support’ for latest rail strike

A crowded platform Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

Workers at two of the country’s biggest rail operators were said to be solidly supporting a fresh strike on Saturday in the long-running dispute over guards on trains, causing travel misery for passengers.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on South Western Railway (SWR) and Arriva Rail North (Northern) mounted picket lines outside stations.

Rugby fans going to the England v Japan game at Twickenham were caught up in the disruption.

Northern said only 30% of its services will run while both companies will lay on bus replacements on parts of their network.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT members are standing determined and united again this morning on both Northern and South Western Railway in the long-running fight for safety, security and access on our trains while the private train companies gamble with their passengers’ well-being.

“This action comes as the political cheerleader of the driver-only train operational model, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, weighs up his own self interest and a possible resignation from the collapsing May Government.

“It’s time for both these companies to stop taking instructions from the Government, get out of the bunker and start talking seriously and positively with the union on the issue of the guard guarantee instead of gambling with public safety as they pump up their profits.

“We thank the public for their continuing support and understanding that these disputes are all about safety and passenger service on Britain’s increasingly violent and dangerous railways.”