Half of rail lines to be closed during strikes with last services leaving early afternoon

ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry hears from those set to be hit by the strikes

The UK is set to be hit by the biggest strike in a generation, rail workers have warned, with last services from London to Edinburgh running as early as 2pm next week and passengers "who must travel" urged to “plan ahead”.

Network Rail has said half of Britain's rail lines will be closed during the strike and there will be no passenger trains running north from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

No trains will serve Penzance in Cornwall, Bournemouth in Dorset, Swansea in South Wales, Holyhead in North Wales, Chester in Cheshire and Blackpool, Lancashire.

The lines that will remain open include the West Coast Main Line from London to Scotland via locations such as Birmingham and Manchester.

The strike days are Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 next week.

The number of passenger services on those days is expected to be limited to around 4,500 compared with 20,000 normally.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Network Rail and 13 train operators are to strike for three days next week in similar disputes over pay, jobs and pensions.

How will the strike action impact different parts of the country?

Lines will only be open between 7.30am and 6.30pm, meaning services will start later and finish earlier than usual.

Passengers “who must travel” are urged to “plan ahead” to ensure they can complete their journeys within this window, Network Rail said.

The last train from London to Edinburgh will leave at 2pm and the last train from London to Manchester at 2.56pm.

Credit: PA

A special timetable will be published on Friday for the strike days, but here is a selection of the last trains to and from some cities across the country:

From London to:

Edinburgh - 14:00

Leeds - 15:05

Newcastle - 15:43

Birmingham - 15:40

Manchester 14:56

Liverpool 15:31

Sheffield - 15: 31

Nottingham - 16:09

Bristol - 16:33

Brighton - 17:50

Norwich - 16:30

Southampton - 17:00

To London from:

Edinburgh - 13:30

Leeds - 15:45

Newcastle - 14:59

Birmingham - 15:50

Manchester - 14:47

Liverpool - 15:47

Sheffield - 16:00

Nottingham - 16:12

Bristol - 16:30

Brighton - 17:29

Norwich - 16:00

Southampton - 16:59

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Steve Montgomery, who chairs industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes will affect the millions of people who use the train each day, including key workers, students with exams, those who cannot work from home, holidaymakers and those attending important business and leisure events.

“Working with Network Rail, our plan is to keep as many services running as possible, but significant disruption will be inevitable and some parts of the network will not have a service, so passengers should plan their journeys carefully and check their train times.”

Only around 12,000-14,000 services will be able to run on the days following the strikes.

This is because signallers and control staff will not work overnight shifts that begin on the strike dates.

That means trains will not be able to leave depots for several hours later than normal.