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Rail strikes at Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, Northern, South Western

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Services at Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, Northern and South Western Railway are likely to be affected

Train passengers face another day of disruption as union members at four rail firms stage the latest 24-hour strikes in disputes over safety.

Services on Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, Northern and South Western Railway, including its Isle of Wight Island Line, are likely to be affected on Wednesday.

RMT union members also walked out on Monday and plan to again on Friday.

The Department for Transport denied the dispute was about safety.

It said rail firms would “keep passengers moving”.

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During Monday’s strike, commuters packed on to a South Western Railway train on the Portsmouth to London Waterloo line

The disputes the union has with rail firms include concerns over the role of guards, fears over safety and job losses surrounding plans to introduce new driver-only operated trains.

RMT union members have been told not to book shifts between 00:01 and 23:59 GMT on strike days.

Services during strike action:

  • Greater Anglia said it was “very disappointed that the strike is going ahead” and plans to run a full service
  • Merseyrail said “unfortunately” it would run a reduced service in and around Liverpool between 07:00 and 19:00, but with a break during the middle of the day. There will be no trains on Kirkby, Ellesmere Port or Hunts Cross lines
  • Northern, which covers north-west and north-east England, said it was “focusing on running as many trains as it can” and will operate about 1,350 trains on strike days – roughly 60% of its normal services between 07:00 and 19:00
  • South Western Railway, which operates in areas including London Waterloo, Reading, Exeter and Southampton, said it had “offered assurances around the need for more guards in the future” and planned to run about 70% of its normal services, while there would be bus replacements on its Isle of Wight Island Line

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Commuters were able to travel on Greater Anglia’s train at Shenfield in Essex on Monday as it ran a normal service

RMT union general secretary Mick Cash said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces.

“These disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies.”

Mr Cash said the agreements had been reached in Scotland and Wales to keep guards on new modern trains.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Train companies will keep passengers moving with the majority of services running as planned.

“This dispute is not about safety and no one is losing their job – employees have been guaranteed jobs and salaries for several years.

“At Southern Rail, where these changes have already been introduced, there are now more staff dedicated to working on trains than previously.

“The independent rail regulator has stated unequivocally that driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe.”

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