Rail strikes: Third day of action sees just 5 train lines running in Wales

There will be no trains west of Cardiff or north of Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday Credit: PA/ITV

Just five train services will run in Wales on Saturday as rail strikes enter the third and final day of planned industrial action.

There will be no trains to the west of Cardiff or north of Merthyr Tydfil as less that 10% of the network in Wales operates.

Although Transport for Wales staff are not on strike, Network Rail staff, who manage and maintain the rail network, are taking part in industrial action.

People travelling from Wales to England, and vice versa, in the south of the country will also be hit by the closure of the M48 Severn Bridge.

Rail travel has been severely disrupted across Wales, even though Transport for Wales workers are not on strike.

Which rail services in Wales are affected?

  • Transport for Wales: Most lines will be closed. There will be limited trains between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare and Pontypridd, with replacement buses between Radyr and Cardiff Central. Transport for Wales is urging people not to rely on trains.

  • Wales and Borders: The majority of rail services across the network will be suspended, with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in South Wales.

  • Great Western Rail: South Wales main lines between Cardiff and Swansea will not be running, but GWR's service from Cardiff to London will run.

  • CrossCountry: No services will run from Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Peterborough, Cambridge or Stansted Airport.

  • Avanti West Coast: North Wales will be impacted as a number of routes will not run and ticket sales have been suspended for the rest to the week to "help reduce disruption and overcrowding".

Why are rail workers striking?

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Railway workers across the UK are set to walk out in a growing dispute over pay, jobs and pensions.

It has been described as the biggest outbreak of industrial action in the industry in a generation.

The union is complaining that railway staff who worked through the pandemic are facing job cuts, a pay freeze and attacks on employment conditions.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said “there’s a long way to go yet” in rail company talks, as proposals will “very difficult to take on board” for rail workers.

He said issues yet to be resolved include “severe changes to our members’ terms and conditions, they do want to cut thousands of jobs, they want to recontract virtually everyone that works on the railway on a set of terms and conditions and pay that is lower than we currently have, and that in some ways is a form of fire and rehire”.

Mr Lynch also refused to rule out further strike action over the summer.

What are governments saying?

Unsurprisingly, the UK Government and Welsh Government have taken very different positions on the industrial action.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We strongly urge the UK Government to do all it can to resolve the disputes with the rail unions. 

"While staff at Transport for Wales are not striking, the impact on rail services in Wales has been extensive.

"Passengers should expect severe disruption and check advice from train operators before travelling.”

The UK's secretary of state for transport has called on striking rail workers to call off the industrial action planned for Saturday.

Grant Shapps tweeted on Friday: “The RMT’s unwarranted strikes haven’t caused the mass overcrowding on buses or heavy congestion on our roads some feared.

“But the Union is damaging the lives of everyday hardworking people that they claim to represent.

“They should call off Saturday’s strike now.”

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