UK

Rail unions call off national bank holiday strike

Southern train Image copyright PA
Image caption Many train services will now run as planned on Monday and Tuesday

Rail unions have called off a national bank holiday strike after receiving a "revised offer" in their pay dispute with Network Rail.

Members of the RMT and TSSA unions had been due to walk out for 24 hours from 17:00 BST on Monday in a row over pay.

The RMT said the union's executive had decided to suspend the strike, after the TSSA earlier called off its action.

Many train services will now run as planned on Monday and Tuesday but some will be affected by engineering work.

Virgin trains, which runs services on the East and West Coast mainlines, tweeted: "As a result of planned industrial action being cancelled, the original timetabled services have been reinstated for 25th & 26th May."

Other train operators expected to run normal services on Monday and Tuesday include:

  • London Midland
  • ScotRail
  • Southern
  • CrossCountry
  • South West Trains
  • First Great Western
  • Southeastern
  • c2c
  • Northern Rail
  • Thameslink
  • Arriva Trains Wales
  • Heathrow Express
  • Gatwick Express
  • Abellio Greater Anglia
  • East Midlands Trains

On East Coast, two additional services will run for the Middlesbrough v Norwich City Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday - 10:20 Darlington to London King's Cross and 20:05 King's Cross to Darlington, connecting with the last train to Middlesbrough.

Four days of talks

Chiltern will be operating as normal on Monday and Tuesday, with additional trains calling at Wembley on Monday for the match.

Merseyrail will run as planned on Monday and Tuesday, with changes to the timetable on Monday due to the Cunard ships' event at Liverpool.

Union negotiators had been involved in four days of talks with Network Rail at conciliation service Acas.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rail passengers had been advised to expected travel chaos

The unions rejected a four-year deal of a single £500 payment followed by three years of rises in line with RPI inflation, but details of the new offer have not been revealed.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT has received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action while we consult in full with our Network Rail representatives."

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, said: "Our negotiating team... have suspended the planned industrial action, pending the outcome of a meeting of our workplace representatives next week."

'Welcome news'

Lawyers for Network Rail halted plans to take legal action against the TSSA, over the way its ballot had been conducted, in the light of developments.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Passengers right across the country will welcome this news and the knowledge that the extensive disruption threatening the bank holiday and the return to work on Tuesday has been averted."

Rail passengers had been advised to expected travel chaos and not to travel if the strike by thousands of signallers, maintenance staff and station workers went ahead.

Widespread cancellations had been expected to services and rail companies had said further disruption and delays were likely on Wednesday, as services returned to normal.

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