Merseyrail strike held over driver-only trains

15 March, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Today is expected to be one of the worst single days of strike action on the railways since privatisationLYNNE CAMERON  PA WIRE

Merseyrail had hoped to run more trains but had to change its contingency plans "because train drivers, who are not part of the industrial action taking place on the Merseyrail network today, have decided not to cross RMT picket lines".

The early-day motion reads: 'That this House welcomes the fact that Northern Rail passengers are now guaranteed a safety-critical train guard on board every Northern Rail train to assist in protecting the safety of the train and passengers, provide advice and assistance and allow disabled passengers to embark and disembark at unstaffed stations'.

Today's strikes by guards and drivers working for Merseyrail and Northern rail are over similar DOO proposals on those services.

RMT members have walked out at Merseyrail, Northern and Southern in protest at plans to extend driver-only operation.

The RMT strike on Southern is the 30th since a row over the role of conductors flared nearly a year ago.

It's as the region is hit by a major rail strike, which will affect the whole of the North.

We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.

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Some services ran this morning but were not calling at Hunts Cross, Ellesmere Port or Kirkby.

We want to protect jobs and pay, and during our recent discussions we offered to consult fully with our people, customers and key stakeholders.

"We are in contact with the RMT, and all being well, will be getting back round the table with them very soon", said a spokeswoman.

The strike has been met with strong words from the Rail Delivery Group, with Paul Plummer, its CEO, saying: "Passengers have every right to be angry and confused at this unnecessary strike".

"Our pickets are out across the franchise and the response has been fantastic", he added.

More than half of services on Northern and Merseyrail are cancelled in what could threatened to be the worst disruption since the industry's privatisation in the mid-1990s. Please check northernrailway.co.uk for the services that are running.

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