Rail strikes: Merseyrail staff stage 48-hour walkout

Image of the new train Image copyright Merseytravel
Image caption Merseyrail plans to introduce a new fleet of driver only-operated trains from 2020

Staff at Merseyrail have started a 48-hour strike in a dispute with the firm over driver only-operated trains (DOOs) and the role of guards.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are taking part in the action, disrupting services in and around Liverpool.

The union is calling on the Department for Transport to join talks about staffing arrangements on new trains.

Merseyrail said the strikes were "unnecessary".

The walkout will affect music fans going to the city's Fusion Festival.

'Safer and faster'

The RMT is in dispute with three companies - Merseyrail, Northern and Southern - over DOOs which it says would be "unsafe" and lead to widespread job losses.

However, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director at Merseyrail, said: "The RMT union is continuing its campaign against the staffing arrangements for the new trains, and once again, it will be passengers who are inconvenienced by this action.

"With none of our permanent guards being forced to leave Merseyrail, these strikes are unnecessary.

"The new trains will be modern, safer, faster and more reliable than the ones they replace, with the capacity to support economic growth."

He said Merseyrail would continue to be one of the most "generously staffed" rail networks in the country.

Image caption Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are staging the strikes

Northern, Merseyrail and Southern RMT staff walked out for 24 hours from midnight on Friday in the first day of the latest industrial action.

RMT members at Southern and Northern will also strike on Monday.

Upcoming rail strikes

  • Merseyrail - On Monday trains will run only between approximately 07:00 and 19:00. On Sunday trains will run only between approximately 08:00 and 18:00 with no trains running between 11:00 and 14:00. On all strike dates, there will be no trains running on the Ellesmere Port, Hunts Cross and Kirkby lines
  • Northern - Northern, which is part of the Arriva Group, said the majority of trains would run between 07:00 and 19:00 with services on some routes finishing earlier. During these hours the overall number of trains operating will be significantly reduced
  • Southern - Southern said it was planning to run 90% of services during the action on Monday, but advises passengers to check before they travel

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