Trains across the Midlands brought to standstill as rail workers strike over pay and conditions

Striking workers on a picket line outside Shrub Hill station in Worcestershire Credit: PA

Rail workers across the Midlands are on strike, bringing services to standstill across much of the region.

Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and multiple train operators have walked out today, after representatives and company bosses failed to reach a settlement over pay and conditions.

All sides involved blamed each other for the strikes going ahead.

Industrial action will be taking place today, Thursday, and Sunday - with reduced services running during intervening days.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain this morning, RMT leader Mick Lynch said of negotiations "we went over there last night and they said we'd get a revised pay offer... instead of doing that they've issued us a statutory redundancy notice."

"What we've got here is a situation where they're not offering any guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, they are imposing changes to working practices which will rip up the culture of the railway and rip up the protections that our members have."

But the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, suggested to the program that the government would attempt to change existing laws to allow them to bring in workers to cover for striking workers, if action continues further into the summer.

"We will change laws, we will absolutely do everything possible to protect the travelling public," he said.

"To make sure we can't be held to ransom as a nation by an extremist union who seem to want to live in another era."

Passengers in the East Midlands who ITV News Central spoke to were divided on the strikes

Passengers who ITV News Central spoke to in the East Midlands seemed divided on the issue of strikes.

"They're being unfair for some people, like those who've got to go to work or hospitals," said one lady.

"I agree with them," said another. "I think if they are saying they need to get paid more I think they do need to get paid more."

For some, the impact of strikes can have a serious and lasting impact. One lady was unable to get to a funeral as train services were down.

"I can't go because there are no trains," she said.

What services are affected in the Midlands?

  • Avanti West Coast

  • Chiltern Railways

  • Cross Country

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Great Western Railway

  • Greater Anglia

  • London Northwestern Railway

  • West Midlands Railway

Major roads across the Midlands are likely to see an increase in traffic while the strikes happen, with more people travelling by car.

Below is a breakdown of the changes and cancellation to trains this week, but passengers are being urged to check before they travel.

Impact to Avanti West Coast trains:

  • There will be a limited service, with around a quarter of the normal timetable operating.

  • Trains will not be calling at Stoke-on-Trent, so the station will be closed on strike days.

  • They plan to run one train per hour from Euston to Birmingham.

  • Trains will only run between 8am and 6pm.

Train stations across the Midlands are standing empty, such as this one in Malvern in Worcestershire Credit: PA

Impact to Chiltern Railways passengers:

  • No services between Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill or Solihull on the Monday 20th due to engineering work.

  • The railway will be closed between Dorridge and Birmingham Moor Street due to essential mid-week engineering works on Monday 20 June.

  • No trains will run between Banbury and Birmingham from Tuesday to Saturday.

  • Services will be suspended on "most routes" on strike days due to "extremely limited availability of staff".

Changes to CrossCountry next week:

  • No services will run from Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads,

    Cardiff Central, Peterborough, Cambridge or Stansted Airport across the three

    strike days.

  • A limited service is planned between Birmingham New Street to Newcastle and Edinburgh.

  • One train per hour will run between Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and Leicester, Birmingham New Street and Leeds and York, and Birmingham New Street to Reading.

Impact for East Midlands Railway:

  • No trains will run between Worksop and Nottingham or Lincoln and Nottingham on strike days.

  • One Train Per Hour between Nottingham and London.

  • One Train per Hour between Derby and Matlock, Derby and Nottingham, Leicester and Nottingham and Nottingham and Sheffield.

Members of the RMT Union and their supporters have formed picket lines outside of stations, such as this in Nottingham Credit: PA

How Great Western Railway passengers will be impacted:

  • The operator says services will be "severely affected" between Tuesday 21 and Saturday 25.

  • An extremely limited service will operate between 07:30 and 18:30. On non-strike days, no services will run before 07:00.

Greater Anglia impacts:

  • During the days of strike action, Greater Anglia will not run any trains on regional routes.

  • They'll be no rail replacements buses.

Impact on London Northwestern Railway passengers:

  • They'll be one train per hour between Birmingham New Street and Northampton from Tuesday to Saturday.

  • One train per hour between Birmingham New Street and Liverpool Lime Street from Tuesday to Saturday.

A very reduced service is running - with some stations not being served by trains at all Credit: PA

West Midlands Railway changes:

  • On strike days, no trains will run on several routes to and from Birmingham New

    Street, such as Hereford, Shrewsbury, Walsall.

  • No service from Leamington to Nuneaton.

  • No trains between Birmingham Snow Hill and Leamington / Stratford.

  • No services between Birmingham Snow Hill and Kidderminster / Worcester including Stourbridge Shuttle.

  • One train per hour between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International.

  • Two trains per hour on strike days between Lichfield Trent Vally and Redditch/ Bromsgrove.

  • One train per hour from Birmingham New Street to Wolverhampton on strike days, two trains per hour on Wednesday and Friday.

  • No service from Birmingham New Street to Walsall / Rugeley on strike days. They'll be no service between Walsall and Rugeley on Wednesday and Friday.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Strikes should always be the last resort, not the first, so it is hugely disappointing and premature that the RMT is going ahead with industrial action.

"The government committed £16 billion – or £600 per household – to keep our railways running throughout the pandemic while ensuring not a single worker lost their job.

"The railway is still on life support, with passenger numbers 25% down and anything that drives away even more of them risks killing services and jobs.

"Train travel for millions more people is now a choice, not a necessity. Strikes stop our customers choosing rail and they might never return.”

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