Thousands of rail workers on the picket lines in the second day of strikes

Railway staff on the picket lines outside Bristol Temple Meads Credit: ITV News

Thousands of railway workers are on the picket lines in the second day of strikes.

Rail staff say they are protesting over pensions, salaries and redundancies.

Across the region today (Thursday 23 June), there are no trains running on the Severn Beach line, between Exeter Central and both Axminter and Exmouth. There will also be no trains traveling past Plymouth.

There are reduced services running from some of the larger stations such as Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads.

At Bristol Temple Meads workers from Great Western Rail (GWR) and Cross County lined the streets in protest.

Train guard Wyndham Peters said: "This whole strike is very important. What I would like to get across is that this strike isn't just about pay.

"We are frightened for redundancies and safety. We are frightened for our pensions and terms and conditions. We're not asking for a massive amount we are asking to be recognised for what we are really entitled to."

Credit: ITV News

He added: "I sincerely apologies for anyone who has been impacted, that was never our intention. We wanted to try and get this deal sorted before the strike dates. Kids are affected, emergency service works are affected too but in the long run it will benefit them. No one wanted this."

Inside the stations one passenger said: "We landed at Gatwick at 6.30 this morning. We had to get a taxi from Gatwick to Reading and then a train from Reading to Bristol, we are now waiting for a bus to take us to Cheltenham."

Another passenger sitting outside Bristol Temple Meads said: "We had to drive from Cornwall as there weren't any trains coming from there, we are now trying to get back."

Not all passengers have had a negative experience of the strikes. Another passenger told ITV News West Country: "We came from London Paddington - we haven't been impacted at all. It's been really easy the trains were really quiet and there were lots of seats."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the RMT have again chosen to walk away from negotiations without agreeing a deal. We remain available for talks – day or night – and will do everything we can to avoid further disruption for our passengers.

“As a result of this needless and premature strike, rail services will look much like they did on Tuesday – starting later in the morning and finishing much earlier in the evening (around 6.30pm). We are asking passengers to please check before you travel, be conscious of when your last available train is departing, and only travel by train if necessary.”