Commuters Across Wakefield District Hit By New Wave Of Rail Strikes

Train passengers across the Ridings FM area face the first of three days of train travel disruption today - as Northern Rail staff have walked out in an ongoing row over driver only trains.

Michael Thompson from the RMT Union says he understands the frustrations of the travelling public - but believes the proposed changes are unsafe.

"The only person that would be aboard a train service would be the driver. We have grave concerns about that in regards to the safety of the travelling public the elderly, the infirm- and who would take control of the situation if something was to go wrong, such as a fire, an evacuation or a terrorist attack", he said.

Northern Rail say revised timetables will see more than 50 percent of services still running.

Richard Allan, Northern’s Deputy Managing Director, said: "Northern is committed to investing in new and updated trains, better stations and faster journeys for our customers. Northern is still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the rest of our franchise to 2025 if we can reach agreement on how our colleagues deliver better customer service using those fantastic new facilities. Additionally, last week the Government wrote to RMT, guaranteeing employment for conductors beyond 2025 if RMT ends its dispute.

“RMT is striking yet again at Northern and at the same time on several other train operators. We will be working hard to keep customers on the move during these next RMT strike days.”

Walk outs are also planned for Wednesday the 10th and Friday the 12th of January.

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