Rail strike misery to continue throughout Lancashire this weekend
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As more than 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 15 train operating companies will walk out in a row over jobs, pay and conditions, passengers are being urged to “only travel by train if absolutely necessary on Saturday”.
Around half of the network will be closed all day and trains will operate only between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
Services will start later than normal on Sunday morning as workers return to duties.
Ahead of the industrial action, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch wrote to Transport Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan, urging her to “unshackle” the railway companies and allow them to reach a settlement with the rail unions.
Mr Lynch wrote: “I am writing following your comments at the Conservative Party Conference last weekend in which you said that there is a ‘deal to be done’ between the rail unions and train companies in relation to the ongoing industrial disputes.
“I am also hopeful that a negotiated settlement between the RMT and the employers can be reached.
“However, for this to be achieved, your Government must unshackle the train operators who currently take their mandate directly from yourself.”
In a statement, the Department for Transport (DfT) urged union bosses to work with their employers “not against them”.
“For the third time this week, and second weekend in a row we face disruption and disarray on our railways,” a DfT spokesperson said.
“Weekend rail travel has been on the rise since the pandemic as people travel to support their favourite sports teams, meet loved ones or go to events. These plans are all now jeopardised and our economy is damaged as a result.”
It comes after a week of travel misery, with strikes also taking place last Saturday and on Wednesday.
Passengers are advised to check National Rail Enquiries or their train operator’s website for updates.
People with a ticket for Saturday whose journey is cancelled or rescheduled are entitled to a refund. Alternatively, they can travel on another day up to and including Tuesday October 11.
Season ticket holders are entitled to compensation through the delay repay scheme.