Only a few trains set to run in Shropshire tomorrow as strikes take another twist

Trains will limited to one train operator's services in the Shropshire region on Thursday transport operators have warned.

A file picture of RMT strikers at Shrewsbury
A file picture of RMT strikers at Shrewsbury

Transport for West Midlands says it will be running no train services at all across the region on Thursday as train drivers union Aslef takes its turn in walking out.

Transport for Wales is not involved in the dispute with Aslef and is able to run a limited number of services from Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton but won't be going on to Birmingham New Street.

Transport for Wales has also warned that trains running on Thursday will be busy as a result of the action.

A TfW spokesman said: "We’re running close to a normal timetable on all routes tomorrow, except there will be no services before 7am and some late evening services will not run.

"Shrewsbury services will end at Wolverhampton because Birmingham New Street station is not open."

But on TfW lines from Ludlow to Gobowen and beyond, and Shrewsbury into Newtown and Welshpool and on to the coast travellers will be able to check on the company's app for services that are running.

The overall situation however is that it adds to the misery of train travellers as no trains were running on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Services are expected to resume on Sunday, although passengers are again being warned of potential disruption as the network gets up and running again.

The RMT union is staging a series of 48-hour strikes on Friday and Saturday.

The new general secretary of the TUC called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister in a bid to break deadlocked industrial disputes across the country.

On Wednesday, around half of Britain's railway lines were closed and only a fifth of services were running as tens of thousands of workers at Network Rail and train operators walk out on the second day of a 48-hour strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

Train drivers in the Aslef union will strike on Thursday before a second two-day RMT strike begins on Friday.

TUC leader Paul Nowak called for a change in government direction, saying ministers should open pay negotiations with unions.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, Mr Nowak said public services were in crisis after years of "underfunding and understaffing".

Mr Nowak said unions worked closely with Mr Sunak during the pandemic to deliver the furlough scheme and protect millions of jobs, adding: "That's the kind of mature approach we need now.

"Unions have already made clear their willingness to sit down with the Government and talk about boosting pay. But while your ministers continue to refuse point blank to discuss improving wages, there can be no resolution."

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch warned on Tuesday that industrial action will need to continue beyond May unless a reasonable offer to resolve the row over pay, jobs and conditions is made to the union.

On Wednesday, the DVSA driving examiners' strike started in London, the South East, South Wales and the South West, while traffic officer service workers at National Highways and Rural Payments Agency staff continued their walkouts.

Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said the Government cannot afford to give rail workers an "inflation-busting pay increase".

He told TalkTV: "What we cannot afford... is to give rail workers an inflation-busting pay increase of 10 per cent or more."

He added that people on the lowest incomes have been given a "substantial package" and that more money will be available to them in the next week or so.

Asked about the Prime Minister's potential meeting with unions, Mr Clifton-Brown said: "I think the Prime Minister will be weighing this carefully up to see whether his intervention would actually bring about a breakthrough."

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