Timetable announced for rail strikes 'catastrophic' for sector

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Staring late and finishing early: strike timetable will have "catastrophic impact" on sector (Credit: Getty/mammuth)
Staring late and finishing early: strike timetable will have "catastrophic impact" on sector (Credit: Getty/mammuth)

Related tags: Network rail, Travel, Health and safety

Proposed timetable for upcoming rail strikes will have “catastrophic impact” on trade and limit access to cities, events, and festivals, according to the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA).

This comes as Network Rail yesterday (Wednesday 15 June) announced its services would be reduced by around 20% with trains running later and finish much earlier than usual, between 7:30am and 6:30pm, on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June, and Saturday 25 June.

Michael Kill CEO NTIA said: “The announcement of the strike​ day timetable, with services being reduced to 20% on strike days, with the last service ending at 6:30pm, will have a catastrophic impact on trade.

“This will limit access to cities, events and festivals across the UK, with mounting concerns over staff and public safety.

Compromising safety

"The timetabled strike day rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available.”

This comes as last week saw representatives and trade bodies form across the sector join forces to issue a statement​ regarding the strikes, set to be the biggest​ network dispute since 1989, echoing concerns around safety and the “devastating” impact on hospitality.

Network rail urged passengers to plan ahead before travelling as, while thousands of trained operatives would be stepping in the keep vital services running during the action, only a “severely limited service” was expected to be available.

Furthermore, as part of the statement yesterday from Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group chair Steve Montgomery called for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), which stated the strikes were against pay cuts and redundancies in the industry, to call off the action.

Significant disruption

Montgomery said: “These strikes will affect the millions of people who use the train each day, including key workers, students with exams, those who cannot work from home, holidaymakers and those attending important business and leisure events.

“Working with Network Rail, our plan is to keep as many services running as possible, but significant disruption will be inevitable and some parts of the network will not have a service, so passengers should plan their journeys carefully and check their train times.

“Taxpayers have provided the equivalent of about £600 per household since Covid and passenger numbers are still only at around 75% of pre pandemic levels. We need to bring rail up to date so that we attract more people back and take no more than our fair share from the public purse.

“We ask the RMT’s leadership to call off these damaging strikes and continue talks to reach a deal that is fair to staff and taxpayers, and which secures a bright, long-term future of our railways.”

Related topics: Legislation

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