Millions of people were hit by severe travel disruptions on the first day of the biggest train strike in a generation – and passengers will face more cancellations on Wednesday.
Although today is not officially a strike day, only 60% of the trains are expected to run – mainly due to a delay in the start of services as signallers and control center personnel do not work night shifts.
Talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Network Rail and rail companies are resuming – but strikes are also planned for this Thursday and Saturday.
London Underground services have also been suspended on most lines due to a staff strike.
Speaking to Sky News, a spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) said there would be further disruption and would advise customers not to travel around the capital on the Tube before 8am on Wednesday unless , their travels are absolutely necessary. Normal service is expected to be up and running by mid-morning.
Nationally, just a fifth of trains were running and half routes were closed on Tuesday – as some 40,000 members of RMT joined Network Rail and 13 operators in a row pulled out over pay, jobs and conditions.
It was Britain’s biggest rail strike in 33 years and RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch hailed the “fantastic” picket turnout that had “exceeded expectations”.
He vowed to “continue the campaign” and said RMT members were “leading the way for all workers” who are “fed up with their wages and working conditions being cut through a mix of big corporate profits and government policies”.
“Now is the time to stand up and fight for every single railroad worker in this fight, which we will win,” he added.
The RMT is targeting a pay rise of at least 7% for its members, while employers have offered a maximum of 3%.
Strike hits the railroad and beyond on day one
The last trains ran much earlier than normal, e.g. B. London Euston to Glasgow at 13:30 and London King’s Cross to Edinburgh at 14:00.
Much of the UK had no passenger trains all day, including most of Scotland and Wales, all of Cornwall and Dorset and places like Chester, Hull, Lincoln and Worcester.
With trains running, many passengers’ journeys took several hours longer than normal, while those who chose to travel by car were hit by heavy traffic.
That Congestion in London was 26 percentage points higher than on past Tuesdays, data from TomTom shows.
Congestion levels are the additional time it takes drivers to make a trip compared to the time it takes to travel the same distance on uncongested roads.
People traveling by car or bus in the capital between 6am and 10am took an average of 72% more time, compared to 45% more time taken on average over the past three Tuesdays.
Travel time has almost doubled in London between 8am and 9am.
Visitor numbers in the city center drop to lockdown levels
Normally, busy railway stations like London Euston and Birmingham New Street were almost deserted save for union pickets.
Many people worked from home instead of traveling to the office.
The retail analysts informed Springboard Visitor numbers in central London fell 27% last Tuesday, while city centers outside the capital fell 11%.
“I didn’t sleep very well”
In London, Rene Mance said the travel chaos cut short her journey to Glastonbury Festival, where she started a new job.
“I can’t pretend it wasn’t stressful. It is. I didn’t sleep really well because I was worried,” said the 47-year-old, adding that she arrived two hours before her train was leaving for fear of unforeseen complications.
Due to traveling with heavy luggage, Ms Mance said she felt catching the bus would cause problems and was forced to pay almost £40 for a taxi to the station.
At Leyton Sixth Form in east London, two female students, Emmanuella Ameyaw and Harriet Owusu-Afriyie, spent more than an hour arriving in time for their A levels in Religious Studies.
They both live close by and usually travel by bus, but Harriet said she had to catch a taxi halfway because the traffic was so bad.
At Lordship Lane bus station in South East London A frustrated commuter blocked the path of a bus, demanding the driver open his doors.
The government says reforms are urgently needed to modernize the railroad
The RMT has been asked by Network Rail to participate in formal consultations next month on the introduction of “modern working practices”.
Network Rail official Tim Shoveler said the changes would mean “abandoning outdated work practices and introducing new technology”.
He added: “We expect this to eliminate around 1,800 jobs, the vast majority of which will be lost to voluntary attrition and natural wastage.”
TfL Chief Operating Officer Andy Lord told Sky News: “I would like to apologize to all our customers and stakeholders who have been severely impacted by today’s disruption.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport said: “These are urgently needed reforms that modernize the railway and put it on a sustainable basis for passengers and taxpayers.
“Unions have shut down large parts of the rail network, hit local businesses and unfairly cut people off from hospitals, schools and jobs.
“However, early data shows that, unlike before, many people now have the opportunity to work from home, so we don’t even have to rush onto the streets as transport has gone online instead, meaning unions are doing it didn’t have the overall impact they might have hoped for.”
Train strikes: Passengers face more cancellations on Wednesday after the biggest train strike in a generation | UK News
Source link Train strikes: Passengers face more cancellations on Wednesday after the biggest train strike in a generation | UK News