Rail strike: Drivers refuse to cross picket line in show of solidarity

Services on the Northern and Merseyrail networks were left in tatters this morning with the evening set to be just as disruptive.

A poster in Manchester Victoria train station gives details of the reduced transport service due to industrial action taken by the RMT union.

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

Northern train drivers and guards walked out on a 24-hour strike on Monday in a row over the future role of guards as bosses want to trains to be operated exclusively by drivers.

Long-suffering travellers on the Southern rail network have faced months of strikes that have brought frustration for those who rely on the service to get to work.

Commuter Jack Crowley, 36, Bootle told JMU Journalism: "I don't get the train to and from work, but as I finish at about 8 o'clock tonight, I can imagine this will mean a lot more traffic on the roads which will be a bit of a hassle for me".

The union mounted picket lines outside stations, saying they were receiving support from the public for its campaign to keep a safety-critical guard on trains.

Rail workers in northern England joined London colleagues in strike action on Monday as a dispute over staffing levels on trains deepened, causing travel disruption in some of England's biggest cities.

As part of our proposals we are prepared to offer guarantees on jobs and pay to our people.

Members of the RMT Union are walking out at Northern, Merseyrail and Southern today.

A spokesman said: "Our modernisation proposals are still in the early stages so it is disappointing that RMT is taking strike action".

The union claims disabled passengers on Southern are being treated less favourably as a result of the company's decision to end the guarantee of a guard.

Northern ran replacement buses where possible but warned passengers to allow extra time for journeys and warned that services from Liverpool to Manchester and Leeds would be busier than normal.

"We've made it clear to the RMT that we won't meet with them whilst they persist with wholly unnecessary industrial action".

  • Rogelio Becker