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Train strikes - live: Britain grinds to a standstill as rail passengers warned not to travel

Today marks the first of 12 walk-outs planned for December and January

Travel Desk
Tuesday 13 December 2022 15:33 GMT
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Passengers across Britain are being warned not to travel by train today unless absolutely necessary, as members of the RMT union begin the first in a series of 12 days of strikes across the festive period.

Some 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies are involved in the walk-outs in December and January, planned to cause as much disruption as possible as travellers attempt to get around over Christmas and New Year’s.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, today blamed former transport secretary Grant Shapps for blocking a settlement to the six-month rail dispute.

He told The Independent: “I think Grant Shapps has still got his hand in it, because they [the cabinet] do a ‘round robin’ about proposals.

“He’s going to be leading the new wave of anti-trade laws. So I think there are people intervening, and vetoing the Department for Transport’s stand.

“I told the minister, the secretary of state, that he’s not got the authority of an independent department.

“Other people are telling him what to do and other people are telling him what to write down in the proposals. And that’s where the blockage is.”

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When are strike days?

Network Rail has released a calendar showing all the strike days across December and January.

Normal service days are green, amber means a reduced service and busier trains, and red equals “only travel if absolutely necessary”.

See the full calendar:

Helen Coffey13 December 2022 15:33
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Which trains are running during today’s rail strikes?

The most protracted and disruptive rail stoppages since 1989 involve walk-outs on a total of 12 days, stretching into the New Year, by members of the RMT union. Cancellations began on Monday as train operators responded to the strike. In many parts of Great Britain there are no trains at all. Conversely, though, fast and frequent links are operating on a number of lines between 7.30am and 6.30pm on strike days.

But wintry weather and other problems are disrupting some operations. So which trains are running and where?

Here’s our full guide to which services are still running:

Simon Calder13 December 2022 13:53
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All the strike dates happening in December and January

The RMT union has revealed that more than 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will stage a series of 48-hour walk-outs.

Industrial action will take place on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and on 3, 4, 6 and 7 January.

It later announced further strike dates to take place over the key Christmas period, with members walking out from 6pm on 24 December until 7am on 27 December. Most trains do not run on 25 and 26 December anyway, but those aiming to travel by rail to see loved ones either side of Christmas Day will be affected.

Read the full story:

Train strikes: Every date in December 2022 and January 2023

Widescale walkouts planned for eight dates

Helen Coffey13 December 2022 12:53
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Could train strikes be averted?

Asked if there is a glimmer of hope that strikes could be averted by successful negotiations, Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines told BBC Breakfast: “It’s hard to see that today. I’ve learned, you know, through a long career, that sometimes the light is just around the corner.

“But where I stand today, I’d have to say that with the level of disruption the RMT are imposing, the way forward isn’t obvious.”

But transport secretary Mark Harper said “almost 40 per cent” of RMT members at Network Rail had voted in favour of an offer to resolve the dispute despite “a very clear instruction from their union leadership”.

He told GB News: “I think the tide is turning on people seeing that the offers we have made are reasonable, taking into account both the travelling public but also the interest of taxpayers.”

The RMT said 63.6 per cent voted to reject Network Rail’s offer on an 83 per cent turnout.

Mustafa Javid Qadri13 December 2022 12:02
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Is there a Tube strike this week?

While past RMT Union strikes have gone hand in hand with a Transport for London (TfL) strike day, this week sees two 48 hour walk-outs for staff on regional and overground services only.

However, the London Underground will suffer some knock-on effects from the country-wide strikes.

Most services will be running as usual, although TfL has warned that there will be disruption on parts of the District and Bakerloo lines, a reduced service on the Central Line, and some disruption to the London Overground and Elizabeth line.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Is there a Tube strike this week?

As the RMT launches the first in its next series of winter walk-outs, how is London’s transport network affected?

Lucy Thackray13 December 2022 11:35
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Mick Lynch accuses Grant Shapps of dragging out rail dispute

As the latest national rail strike began, the boss of the main union involved has blamed the former transport secretary, Grant Shapps, for blocking a settlement to the six-month dispute.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, told The Independent: “I think Grant Shapps has still got his hand in it, because they [the cabinet] do a ‘round robin’ about proposals.

“He’s going to be leading the new wave of anti-trade laws. So I think there are people intervening, and vetoing the Department for Transport’s stand.

“I told the minister, the secretary of state, that he’s not got the authority of an independent department.

“Other people are telling him what to do and other people are telling him what to write down in the proposals. And that’s where the blockage is.

“We’ll talk to both sides, Network Rail and the TOCs, to see if we can move it forward, and we are available any time in order to do that.”

Mick Lynch accuses Grant Shapps of dragging out rail dispute

Exclusive: RMT union boss blames former transport secretary for blocking settlement

Simon Calder13 December 2022 11:18
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Month of chaos begins

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are pressing ahead with two 48-hour strikes this week – involving workers from Network Rail along with 14 train companies. The first strike runs from Tuesday to Wednesday, the second from Friday to Saturday.

Tuesday is the first of 12 strike dates across December and January announced by the RMT, designed to disrupt the festive period.

On the parts of the network that are operating, trains will only run from 7.30am to 6.30pm on this week’s strike days, although many parts of the country will have no services, including most of Scotland and Wales.

“Due to industrial action, there will be significantly reduced train services across the railway from Tuesday 13 December until Sunday 8 January,” said Network Rail in a statement to customers.

“Trains will be busier and likely to start later and finish earlier, and there will be no services at all in some places.”

Passengers are warned to “only travel if absolutely necessary”.

Read the full story:

Train strikes: month of chaos begins as rail staff walk out on first 48-hour strike

Members of Rail, Maritime and Transport union press ahead with two 48-hour strikes at Network Rail

Mustafa Javid Qadri13 December 2022 10:59
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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest strike updates.

Helen Coffey13 December 2022 10:55

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