Woman travelling from France to visit grandma one of many stranded by rail strike in Bristol

Emily has travelled from France but has been stopped in her tracks at Bristol Temple Meads

A woman who had travelled to the UK to see her grandmother for the first time in a year is just one of the people left stranded due to ongoing rail strikes.

Emily Derrick was unaware of the industrial action being taken by train drivers and control staff, who have walked out in a dispute over jobs and pay. She is now stranded in Bristol.

Emily says, while there may be a good reason behind the decision, it has left her lost and unsure of how to continue her journey further south.

"It was a bit of a shock because I just knew nothing about it so I wasn't prepared at all.

"I booked a ticket and advance and the train's now not here and I'm just a bit lost.

"I feel like maybe there could have been more signs or more something.

"I didn't realise until I got inside that there are just no trains, all the boards are empty and I don't really have any other option now.

"I think it does feel like a bit of a hit after Covid because everyone obviously wanted to travel and couldn't because of Covid and you're told to stay home.

"Now everything's opening up you can travel, I'm seeing my grandma for the first time in a year, and the last time I saw her was in the middle of Covid, so I've come all this way and you still can't travel anyway."

  • 'I'm just a bit lost' - stranded rail passenger speaks to ITV News West Country

GWR has warned none of its trains will be running in Devon and Cornwall, and routes on Cross Country will also be affected. Services on South Western Railway are expected to run as normal.

Other people ITV News West Country spoke to at Bristol Temple Meads said, although their journeys had been severely delayed, they were in support of the action.

One traveller said: "I think this is the only way you're going to get better pay, better conditions.

"Yes it's an inconvenience to me but I don't mind I support it, I've just got to wait another hour for my train but that's okay."

  • What people at Bristol Temple Meads passenger think of rail strikes

Great Western Railway is urging the unions to call off the action and says the industry needs to work together to carry on discussions.

GWR spokesperson James Davis said: "It's disruptive to our passengers and it's disruptive to us as a company when we're seeking to provide a level of service and get people back onto the railways post-Covid."

He says there needs to be reform to stop people from losing their trust in the railways.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It is incredibly disappointing that, for the second time in five days, we face disruption on our railways, with businesses once again being affected, thousands of people at risk of being unable to travel to work or school, and doctors’ appointments being missed.

“Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all more strikes will do is punish the very people unions claim to stand up for and push passengers further away.

“We urge union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with their employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”

Why are workers striking?

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan says that train drivers in rail operators in England face a third year without a pay rise, pointing out that deals have been achieved in Scotland and Wales.

He called on the Government to “lift the shackles” from train companies which he claimed are preventing them making a pay offer.

“The message I am receiving from my members is that they are in this for the long haul and, if anything, they want industrial action to be increased,” he said.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We saw only last weekend that our strike action was rock-solid across the country. Our brilliant members remain determined to see their demands met in the shape of a just settlement.“We do not strike lightly but are prepared to dig in as we seek a fair deal on pay, job security and conditions in the face of cuts, economic collapse and a cost-of-living crisis at the hands of this chaotic Tory Government.“With more strikes and wider industrial action in the offing this week, it’s time for ministers to get wise and act now to deliver a fair deal which will halt a winter of rail misery across the network.”

The strikes are set to continue until the end of Saturday (8 October).