Travel chaos as thousands of rail workers go on strike - with more yet to come

A platform is closed off at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike

A platform is closed off at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike over jobs, pay and conditions. Picture date: Wednesday July 27, 2022. - Credit: PA

Commuters are suffering fresh travel chaos today (July 27) as thousands of rail workers walk out on strike, crippling services across the country.

Disputes in the bitter row over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions are worsening, with more strikes due in the coming days, and a wave of industrial action planned next month on the railways and London Underground.

Many passengers turning up at stations are unaware of the strike.

Yesterday it was announced that members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) will launch co-ordinated strikes on August 18 and 20, while the RMT announced a strike on the London Underground on August 19.

Only around one in five trains are running on Wednesday, on around half the network, with some areas having no trains all day.

Picket lines were mounted outside railway stations as members of the RMT union at Network Rail and 14 train operators went on strike.

Striking rail workers are joined by their families on the picket line outside London Euston train station

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are joined by their families on the picket line outside London Euston train station as members of both unions take part in a fresh strike over jobs, pay and conditions. Picture date: Wednesday July 27, 2022. - Credit: PA

Passengers were urged to only travel by train if they must, and, if it is necessary, to allow extra time and check when their last train will depart.

Trains lined up on platforms at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike

Trains lined up on platforms at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike over jobs, pay and conditions. Picture date: Wednesday July 27, 2022. - Credit: PA

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Trains will also be disrupted on Thursday morning with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said union members are 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,” he said.

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

Mr Shapps said in his three years as transport secretary there has not been a single day when unions have not been in dispute by threatening or taking industrial action, with around 60 separate disputes in 2022 alone.

Empty platforms at Kings Cross Station as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) strike

Empty platforms at Kings Cross Station as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) take part in a fresh strike over jobs, pay and conditions. Picture date: Wednesday July 27, 2022. - Credit: PA

He said: “Today, union bosses are once again trying to cause as much disruption as possible to the day-to-day lives of millions of hardworking people around the country.

“What’s more, it has been cynically timed to disrupt the start of the Commonwealth Games and crucial Euro 2022 semi-finals, in a deliberate bid to impact the travel of thousands trying to attend events the whole country is looking forward to.”

An empty platform at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike

An empty platform at Kings Cross Station as union members take part in a fresh strike over jobs, pay and conditions. Picture date: Wednesday July 27, 2022. - Credit: PA