Image above: Northfields train depot
Strikes to go ahead, the RMT union confirms
Britain’s biggest rail strike in more than 30 years will begin on Tuesday (21 June) and is likely to cause almost a week of severe disruption to train services in Chiswick.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) confirmed on Saturday that talks have failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions, meaning that strike action will go ahead.
Three 24-hour strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators are planned on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as on London Underground on Tuesday. About 40,000 workers are expected to take part.
Despite discussions over the past few weeks with senior representatives from Network Rail, train operators and London Underground, the RMT says it has not been able to reach a “viable” settlement. The union says thousands of jobs were being cut across the rail networks and that workers faced below-inflation pay rises.
The Department for Transport said it was “hugely disappointing” that the strikes were going ahead. A spokesperson said:
“The government committed £16bn to keep our railways running throughout the pandemic while ensuring not a single worker lost their job. The railway is still on life support, with passenger numbers 25% down, and anything that drives away even more of them risks killing services and jobs.”
Image above: a SWR train at Chiswick station
South Western Railway running reduced service
South Western Railway, which services Brentford, Kew Bridge and Chiswick Stations, is running a reduced timetable from 7.15am to 6.30pm on the three strike days, that they expect to be:
- Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Windsor via Hounslow
- Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Basingstoke
- Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Woking
- Two fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Southampton
Trains will not stop at all stations on these routes and there will be no services across the rest of SWR’s network.
“Significant disruption” is also expected on Wednesday 22, Friday 24 and Sunday 26 June, when the network will not be operational before 7.30am and a Sunday level of service will operate throughout the day.
SWR said if customers have to travel, they should instead seek to do so by other means and only to travel by rail if “absolutely necessary” on the planned strike days.
Image above: Chiswick Park station
Reduced services for Chiswick Park, Turnham Green and Gunnersbury stations
On Tuesday 21 June TfL said most services will be severely disrupted or not running, including: The Tube, London Overground, The Elizabeth line and London Trams.
Buses, the DLR and any other services which are running will be extremely busy with queues to board. London Overground hope to run services from 7.30am-6.30pm on Tuesday.
London Overground services will also run a reduced service from 7:30am on Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June. TfL advises customers to complete their journeys on this line by 6.00pm on all strike days.
Services on the Wimbledon and Richmond branch of the District line are planned to operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm on 23 and 25 June. A District Line service to Ealing is also planned, meaning that such trains as there are should still be stopping at Turnham Green and Chiswick Park.
The third day of strike action on national rail services on Saturday 25 June will likely impact the Richmond branch and London Overground services with disruption through to Sunday morning.
TfL have said to avoid travelling during the strike and to expect severe disruption on all lines.
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