Cross-border train travel hit by latest round of industrial action

LNER, Avanti and CrossCountry services affected as RMT members walk out at 14 train operators across England.

Limited cross-border train travel between England and Scotland as RMT members strike again in pay dispute STV News

Cross-border train services between England and Scotland are restricted on Saturday due to another round of strike action by railway workers.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have walked out at 14 train operators across England.

ScotRail is operating a near full timetable as the dispute does not involve any of the company’s staff.

But LNER, Avanti and CrossCountry services are impacted.

LNER is operating a limited timetable between London King’s Cross and both Edinburgh and Leeds, and here are no LNER services to destinations north of Edinburgh.

Avanti, which operates services between Glasgow Central and London Euston, is running fewer trains than normal on the west coast and only between 7am and 7pm – with the exception of some services to and from Liverpool, which is hosting the Eurovision song contest.

There are no direct CrossCountry services to or from Birmingham New Street and locations such as Aberdeen, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham and Stansted Airport.

Gordon Martin, RMT regional organiser, said: “We’re out on strike once again – the train operating companies UK-wide, four cross-border into Scotland – and we’re here because the UK Government are meddling in a trade dispute.

“If we could negotiate freely with employers, I’m sure we would be able to come to an arrangement, and get a deal to move on, but the UK Government – driven ideologically – are prolonging this dispute and making it impossible to reach a settlement.

“It’s very difficult (for members) because this is 20-odd days over the period where men and women are having to lose wages, and they are having to lose wages to protect their long-term security, the long-term security of the industry, and their jobs.”

ScotRail said the strike would have a knock-on impact on trains to and from Carlisle on Saturday. But all other services are unaffected.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “The dispute between the trade unions and other train operators does not involve any ScotRail staff. We look forward to welcoming passengers to our services.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has written to UK transport secretary Mark Harper to call for an industry summit of unions, employers and the UK Government, with an independent chair if necessary, to end “chaos“ on the railways and resolve the “toxic“ rail dispute.

The union said that in written evidence to MPs, representatives of train operating companies involved in the dispute spelled out that legislation on minimum levels of service during walkouts could lead to more strikes and cancellations.

Mr Lynch wrote: “On Thursday the Government was forced to bring the TransPennine Express franchise into public ownership after months of significant disruption and regular cancellations.

“It’s clear to us and the wider public that private train operation is failing.

“However, the actions of your Government, up to this moment, have compounded this failure tenfold, creating chaos on our railways, not least in the management of the rail dispute which threatens to do lasting damage to the rail industry.

“While we have reached agreements for rail workers with the Scottish and Welsh governments your Government’s management of the dispute is set to plunge our railways into even more and worse disruption for months to come.

“Instead of facilitating a resolution, your Government has repeatedly torpedoed negotiations. Instead of bringing management and unions together, you are driving a deeper wedge between them.”

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