Pre-Christmas rail travel will be disrupted after a fresh series of strikes were announced.Advertisement
Rail union RMT has announced extra strike dates in its long-running dispute with operator Northern over the role of guards on trains.
RMT members have been staging one-day strikes on Saturday since September, which were due to finish on November 10.
However, they have now announced extra dates running from November 17 to December 29 – all of which are Saturdays.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern but the company are not interested and would prefer to continue to bury their heads in the sand regardless of the impact on the travelling public.
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“German-owned Northern Rail want to run nearly half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.
“RMT has secured agreements on other English franchises that enshrine the guard guarantee. Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.
“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”
Currently Northern is managing to run about 30 per cent of services on strike days, with routes including Preston to Manchester and Blackpool to Preston severely disrupted.