‘Biggest rail strike in modern history’ WILL go ahead after pay talks fail as Brits brace for travel chaos

‘Biggest rail strike in modern history’ WILL go ahead after pay talks fail as Brits brace for travel chaos

RAIL and tube strikes WILL go ahead next week after pay talks with union leaders derailed.

The strikes are expected to be the biggest in modern history, with a whopping 40,000 union members hanging up their uniforms following a dispute over pay.

The strikes are expected to be the biggest in modern history
The strikes are expected to be the biggest in modern historyCredit: Alamy
Mick Lynch claimed the RMT "don't want to cause misery" but vowed to push ahead with strike action
Mick Lynch claimed the RMT “don’t want to cause misery” but vowed to push ahead with strike actionCredit: LNP

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 moaned: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.”

Members of RMT at Network Rail and 13 train operators will begin their strike next Tuesday, June 21.

And they will also strike on June 23 and 25 – bringing the country to a standstill.

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The strikes will cost the economy billions – with the hospitality industry alone taking a mammoth half a billion pound hit with spending set to fall 20 percent, The Times reported.

The RMT said members are striking over job cuts and below-inflation pay rises.

It comes as the Government has slashed funding for National Rail and Transport for London.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the strikes have been timed to cause “maximum disruption”.

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But Mr Lynch – who took home an eye watering £118,450 in pay and perks in 2020 – insisted that they “don’t want to cause misery“.

He whinged: “We’ve got a cost of living crisis and our workers have been working throughout the pandemic and their reward has been a pay freeze.

“I understand the anger of people – but I also understand the anger of our workers.

“We’re not holding the public hostage – but we’re not going to accept the poverty of our members.”

Rail bosses also unveiled a new map of misery showing how only half of Britain’s rail and tube network will be rolling next week.

Services across the nation will be hammered by the strikes – sparking misery for millions of Brits.

Network Rail said that no passenger services will serve locations such as Penzance in Cornwall, Bournemouth in Dorset, Swansea in South Wales, Holyhead in North Wales, Chester in Cheshire and Blackpool, Lancashire.

There will also be no passenger trains running north from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

And incredibly, the last train from Edinburgh to London on the East Coast Main Line will stop running at lunchtime at 1.30pm.

The last trains to leave major cities from London on the three strike days will be at 2pm to Edinburgh, 2.56pm to Manchester, 3.05pm to Leeds, 3.31pm to Liverpool or Sheffield, 3.40pm to Birmingham.

There is also the 3.43pm to Newcastle, 4.09pm to Nottingham, 4.30pm to Norwich, 4.33pm to Bristol, 5pm to Southampton and 5.50pm to Brighton. 

Those travelling to London airports at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton or Southend will see some services, but only during the limited hours

While Heathrow trains could be axed next Tuesday due to the separate Tube strike. 

Lines will only be open between 7.30am and 6.30pm, meaning services will start later and finish earlier than usual.

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And the number of passenger services on those days is expected to be limited to around 4,500 compared with 20,000 normally.

Only around 12,000 to 14,000 services will be able to run on the days following the strikes because signallers and control staff will not work overnight shifts that begin on the strike dates.

The 13 train operators on strike:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross County Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern Railyway
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains

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Tom Hussey

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