How will the rail strikes affect passengers in the Border region?

  • Video report by Andrew Misra

The biggest British rail strike in a generation is underway, with the vast majority of services in the ITV Border region grinding to a halt.

Thousands of people will be affected as RMT Union members walkout on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June, over pay and proposed job cuts.

The Prime Minister has warned commuters to "stay the course" on rail strikes, as about 80% Britain's train services closed on the first day of this week's planned walkouts.

Talks between the union, Network Rail and train operators were held into Monday afternoon but the sides remain deadlocked over a deal after the government, which funds the employers, refused to join discussions.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch suggesting they could be regularly repeated for months until a settlement is reached. He said offers from both employers were "unacceptable", adding: "It is clear that the Tory government, after slashing £4bn of funding from National Rail and Transport for London, has now actively prevented a settlement to this dispute.

The PM's plea for resolve comes amid fears the rail dispute could last months, with the rail union warning it will continue to walkout until its demands for more pay are met.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said "I don't know how long it will go on for" at the suggestion of repeated strikes over the following months, but warned the unions he plans to change laws to prevent strikes having such an impact in the future.

  • Reporter Matthew Taylor joined commuters on the 7:08 train from Carlisle to West Cumbria to ask their views ahead of the strike action:

During the three days of strikes, it is predicted that on non-strike days timetables will not be operating at full capacity. Pupils across Cumbria rely on the railways to get to the classroom.

Parents have stressed it will be a difficult week of travelling adding to the existing stress being felt by young people taking exams including A-levels and GCSEs.

At Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, around a quarter of students get the train to school every morning.

Passengers needing to travel are being urged to plan ahead and are warned not to travel unless absolutely necessary.