Welsh passengers face upheaval as union leaders confirm rail strikes will go ahead
Travellers and commuters in Wales face major disruption as union leaders have confirmed that next week’s rail and Tube strikes will go ahead after talks failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said it had held discussions in the past few weeks at senior levels with Network Rail, train operators and London Underground.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.”
He confirmed that strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators will go ahead on Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday, and on London Underground on Tuesday.
Transport for Wales (TfW) is advising customers not to travel by train on 21, 23 and 25 June, with the majority of rail services suspended as a result of industrial action resulting from the dispute between the RMT union and Network Rail.
Due to the wider disruption caused, they’re also advising customers to only travel by rail if essential for 20, 22, 24 and 26 June.
TfW is not in dispute with RMT, but the industrial action means they are unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.
CrossCountry timetables are being finalised but there will be a “significantly reduced service” on strike days.
Great Western Railway has also yet to release timetables but says services will be “severely affected” between Tuesday and Saturday.
There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action, with early morning services in particular likely to be affected. Trains are also expected to be extremely busy throughout the entire week.
As a result, TfW is advising that customers only make essential journeys by train on 20, 22, 24 and 26 June, and not to travel at all by train on 21, 23 and 25 June.#
Mr Lynch said: “It has to be restated that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory Government to cut £4bn of funding from our transport systems – £2bn from national rail and £2bn from Transport for London.
“As a result of this transport austerity imposed by the Government, the employing companies have taken decisions to savage the Railway Pension Scheme and the Transport for London scheme, cutting benefits, making staff work longer, and poorer in retirement, while paying increased contributions.”
Mr Lynch said thousands of jobs were being cut across the rail networks and workers were facing below-inflation pay rises.
“In the face of this massive attack on our people the RMT cannot be passive.
“So today, having heard the reports on the discussions that have been taking place we are confirming that the strike action scheduled to take place on 21st, 23rd and 25th June will go ahead.
“We want a transport system that operates for the benefit of the people, for the needs of society and our environment – not for private profit.
“We call on the entire labour movement and the working people to rally to the support of the RMT and our members in this struggle.”
Welsh train services
The only services running on 21 and 23 June will be a reduced service between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil, with replacement bus services between Radyr and Cardiff Central.
On 25 June, this will be reduced further to services between Radyr and Treherbert, Aberdare and Pontypridd, with replacement buses in operation between Radyr and Cardiff Central, and between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil due to the ongoing transformation work for the South Wales Metro.
Customers with existing non-season tickets valid for travel from Tuesday 21 June to Saturday 25 June can use those tickets anytime between Monday 20 June and Monday 27 June. Alternatively, customers can claim a full refund, with no admin fee charged. Season ticket holders can apply for compensation via Delay Repay.
Network Rail says half of Britain’s rail lines will be closed during next week’s strikes and confirmed there will be no passenger services at all to Swansea or Holyhead
Full details of the timetable for these days will be available on the TfW, Traveline and National Rail websites using the journey planners.
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