1. ITV Report

Rail strike hits services on West Coast Mainline

Photo: PA

Rail passengers on the West Coast Mainline could face disruption today as Virgin Train workers take strike action.

It's the first of six 24-hour strikes announced by the RMT and TSSA unions in a dispute over pay.

Virgin Trains says it will run the majority of its services through stations in the Border region, including Lockerbie, Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme.

The services affected are:

  • One service each way per hour between London and Liverpool (normal timetable)
  • Two services each way per hour between London and Manchester via Stoke, not Crewe. Trains will not serve Wilmslow.
  • Two services each way per hour between London and the West Midlands.
  • One fast service each way per hour between London and Glasgow (normal timetable).
  • Apart from the 04.48 Holyhead to London service and the return at 17.10, we will not serve Chester and North Wales. There is a replacement bus service between Chester and Crewe, and Arriva Trains Wales will accept tickets between Chester and North Wales stations.
  • Trains will not serve Edinburgh which can be reached via other operators’ services. Tickets will be valid on those operators.
Credit: RMT Union

The RMT leadership is attempting to cause disruption when many will want to travel by train to spend time with loved ones. We have explored a generous 3.6% pay increase, however the unions’ leaderships are insisting on 4%, double the two percent average increase seen across the UK this year.

“We know how important it is for friends and families to get together over the festive season, so whilst we’re sorry for the disruption we will keep the majority of our trains running with fully-trained staff onboard and at stations. We remain open to talks with the RMT and TSSA,and urge them to call off these strikes which will cost their members pay for no gain.”

– Phil Whittingham, Managing Director for Virgin Trains on the west coast

The other dates marked for strike action are December 22, January 5, January 8 and January 29.