Major disruption on Shropshire's rail network as strike action resumes

Rail services across the county were today being brought to a complete standstill by industrial action.

Major disruption on Shropshire's rail network as strike action resumes

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) is taking strike action today.

It means that no trains will be operating throughout Shropshire and Mid Wales.

The strike action is a repeat of the three days of disruption last month.

Throughout the day trains from both West Midlands Railway and Transport for Wales will be cancelled.

It includes routes from Aberystwyth through to Newtown, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Telford, Cosford and Shifnal, or towards Craven Arms or Crewe from Shrewsbury.

The strike has been criticised for taking place a day before the start of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday.

Both West Midlands Railway and Transport for Wales have also warned of disruption when services resume on Thursday.

There will also be further strike action on Saturday, July 30, from train drivers' union ASLEF.

The Saturday strike does not affect Transport for Wales, which will be running services from Shrewsbury to Birmingham, unlike West Midlands Trains.

However, Transport for Wales has again warned of a major impact on services with the reduction in available trains.

It has told people only to travel if the journey is essential.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said union members were more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.

"Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new.

"In fact Network Rail have upped the ante, threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50 per cent cuts to maintenance work if we did not withdraw our planned strike action.

"The train operating companies have put driver-only operations on the table along with ransacking our members' terms and conditions.

"RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.

"The Government need to stop their interference in this dispute so the rail employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us."

Steve Montgomery, chairman of the Rail Delivery Group, said: "We are incredibly disappointed that the RMT and Aslef leadership are continuing with this action, disrupting the summer plans of millions – including those attending the Commonwealth Games.

"While we will do all that we can to minimise disruption to passengers, our advice is to only travel if it is necessary, and if you are going to travel, please plan ahead.

"If you're not able to travel, you can use your ticket either the day before or up to and including August 2, otherwise you will be able to change your ticket or claim a refund.

"We have a responsibility to bring our railway up to date and give our passengers a more punctual and reliable service so that we're able to give our staff the pay rise they deserve.

"But it is wrong to continue asking taxpayers to shoulder more of the burden when they have already contributed £600 per household during the pandemic, or to expect passengers to fund it by paying more for their tickets, when they too are feeling the pinch.

"We ask the RMT and Aslef's leadership to continue talking so we can come to a deal that works for our people, our passengers and taxpayers."

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