More disruption for train passengers in Wales as strikes hit Network Rail services
Rail services across Wales are once again being hit today as workers from the national union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) go on strike.
The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended as a result of the dispute with Network Rail, which means Transport for Wales will be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.
Transport for Wales is not involved in either dispute but its services will be affected, particularly today, when the majority of services on the Wales and Borders network will be suspended.
The only services operating on the Wales and Borders network will be a Cardiff to Newport shuttle, with one train operating hourly in each direction, between 07:30 and 18:30 hours.
Network Rail pointed out that all train operators may be affected by the strike, whether they have an individual dispute with the RMT or not, as signallers control train movements across the entire country.
On valley lines, train services will operate between Cardiff Central and Rhymney, Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil in an hourly service in each direction between 07:30 and 18:30 hours.
Trains will be able to operate between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil before 07:30 hours and after 18:30 hours (and then up to 20:30 hours due to engineering work). Road transport will enable customers to travel between Cardiff Central and Radyr in each direction outside of these hours.
However, customers are advised there will be extremely limited road transport capacity. Customers are advised all train and road transport services are expected to be extremely busy due to the reduced service frequency.
The RMT said there has been no change or improvement in the pay offers it has received and said the threat of compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work had been raised.
RMT say Network Rail want to cut up to 2,500 jobs as part of a £2bn reduction in spending with workers who maintain tracks, signals and overhead lines affected.
The union’s general secretary Mick Lynch said driver-only operations and the “ransacking” of members’ terms and conditions had also been put on the table by the train operating companies.
ASLEF, has also announced its members will strike on Saturday 30 July, causing further disruption to Transport for Wales services.
Two further RMT strikes are set to take place on August 18 and 20 over job security, pay and working conditions.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps described union calls for him to join negotiations to resolve rail strikes as “a complete red herring”.
He told Sky News: “It’s just a game by the unions. It’s a complete red herring as well, by the way, and it’s simply not how strikes are resolved.
“It can only ever be the employer, in this case Network Rail, the train operating companies and the unions.”
He went on: “We have to have this modernisation. It’s there to be sorted out and therefore a pay rise can be had as well, but I’m afraid the unions have been incredibly militant about this.”
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