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Disruption likely as rail workers strike

Members of the RMT Union are staging a 24 hour strike Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

Commuters in the region face disruption as rail staff go on strike today.

Union members at Arriva Rail North are walking out for twenty four hours as part of the long running dispute over the role of guards on trains.

Staff will also strike at Greater Anglia and South Western Railway in the dispute which has been going on for two years.

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Water workers strike over pension row

Credit: pa

Hundreds of water workers are due to take strike action later over United Utilities' plans for their staff pension scheme. The strike has been called due to a management plan to impose changes to a staff pension scheme from April 1st. Its claimed the changes will reduce scheme members' pensions significantly, - unions believe younger members of staff could lose as much as £10,000 per year of their guaranteed income in retirement.

United Utilities are making an unnecessary and unjustified grab for the retirement incomes of their workers. The pension scheme is in good financial health and there is no need for these changes to be made. It is not too late for management to see sense and stop the strike action by halting their plan

– Vic Walsh, UNISON North West

The unions helped to shape the final version of the new scheme. Rather than scrap the defined benefit scheme as planned, we agreed to introduce a hybrid scheme, which will cost us considerably more. So, we have made considerable concessions already and hope that the unions will show a similar desire to compromise

– UNITED UTILITIES

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Union members at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead to strike

The GMB Union say that up to five hundred of its members will strike Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images

Union members at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead are staging a 24 hour strike.

The GMB Union says that up to five hundred of its members are taking part in the walkout in a long running dispute over pay and conditions.

There'll be a second 24 hour strike on Monday, with more dates planned for February.

Andy Burnham: 'put the North of England to the front of the queue' for transport investment

The Mayor of Greater Manchester has said he's "not surprised" by new figures which suggest that the North West gets less than half the transport investment allocated to London.

Andy Burnham says "packed out, clapped out" trains and poor roads are preventing the Northern Powerhouse from reaching its full potential.

We're making the case to the government to put the North of England to the front of the queue for new transport investment.

We can't carry on as we are, and we can't keep funnelling money into London year on year.

– Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

New report finds North-South divide in transport spending

The report claims a North South divide in transport spending Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

A new report has highlighted a North - South divide in transport spending.

The research by the IPPR North think tank indicates that planned transport investment in London is two-and-a-half times higher per person than in the north of England.

London will receive £4,155 per person compared with just £1,600 in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber regions combined.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling sparked anger in July last year by supporting a new £30 billion Crossrail 2 scheme in London and the South East days after a series of rail electrification projects in Wales, the Midlands and the North were axed or downgraded.

Mr Grayling claims per person spending is higher in the North West than the South East when local transport schemes are taken into account.

Despite the Transport Secretary's recent statements, London is still set to receive almost three times more transport investment per person than the North. This is indefensible.

The North has been underfunded in comparison to London for decades, and our figures demonstrate that ministers have failed to redress this imbalance.

This failure will continue to hold back the North and the country until the Government acts.

– Luke Raikes, IPPR North
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