A Northern train at Southport Railway Station. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Southport MP Damien Moore MP says this week’s rail strikes are “a kick in the teeth to hard working people”.

Industrial action is taking place across the country, including on the Merseyrail lines. 

Merseyrail and Network Rail have announced that rail services will not run on the Merseyrail network today (Tuesday, 21st June 2022), this Thursday (23rd June 2022) and Saturday (25th June 2022), due to some Network Rail staff taking industrial action.

Mr Moore believes this week’s standstill will harm the local economy and will cost hard working people and businesses millions of pounds. He says that many students will be unable to get to their GCSE and A-Level exams despite years of preparation, and others will be prevented from accessing vital NHS treatment.

The Government committed £16 billion of emergency taxpayer support, the equivalent to £600 per household, to support the railways over the Covid pandemic  and ensure that not one single rail worker lost their job as a result of Covid.

Damien Moore said: “Like many across our town, I am deeply concerned by the rail action beginning today, which will affect everybody from the 16-year-old sitting their GCSEs to the pensioner needing to visit the hospital.

“Over the pandemic, the average household paid some £600 to support rail workers, who take home a median wage of £44,000. As we began getting back on our feet after Covid, and battling rising inflation and the growing cost of living, these strikes are a kick in the teeth to hard working people and businesses across the country.

“Union bosses have driven these workers to a national strike under false pretences, threatening rather than protecting jobs, as they stand in the way of much-needed reform across our rail networks.”

Merseyrail and Network Rail have announced that rail services will not run on the Merseyrail network this Tuesday (21st June 2022), this Thursday (23rd June 2022) and Saturday (25th June 2022), due to some Network Rail staff taking industrial action.

The RMT union recently announced that its members at Network Rail will be taking three days of industrial action as part of a dispute with Network Rail and 13 train operating companies nationally.

Whilst Merseyrail staff are not taking part in this industrial action, it will involve Network Rail staff who operate the signalling systems and provide crucial maintenance which allow services to run safely.

The operator is therefore unable to provide any train services on days where industrial action is taking place.

Due to the industrial action lasting 24 hours, there will also be knock on effects on the day after each industrial action date except for Sunday 26th June.

Services on Wednesday 22nd June and Friday 24th June will begin later as the staff taking part in the action will not begin working until 7am.

There will be some limited rail replacement buses provided on these two mornings before the normal train service begins after 7am. Full details of the bus services are available on Merseyrail’s website www.merseyrail.org/plan-your-journey/network-rail-strike-action

Passengers are advised to make alternative travel arrangements on Tuesday 21st June , Thursday 23rd June and Saturday 25th June as no trains or rail replacement buses will operate on the Merseyrail network. 

It is also recommended that passengers planning to travel prior to 8am on Wednesday 22nd June  and Friday 24th June check prior to travel and allow extra time for their journey.

Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said: 

“We continue to meet with the trades union to discuss their pay concerns and will do all we can to avoid strike action which has the potential to cause misery to hundreds of thousands of Merseyrail passengers throughout the week.

“With a fraction of the usual workforce available, including signallers who safely move trains around the network, unfortunately it means no Merseyrail services can run at all on strike days on 21st, 23rd and 25th June.”

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said: 

“It is very disappointing that we will be unable to provide a rail service to the people of the Liverpool City Region on the 21st ,23rd and 25th June, because of three days of industrial action by some Network Rail staff.

“Our network is unable to function without the support of Network Rail signalling and maintenance staff who play a critical role in the safe operation of our train services.

“We share the frustration of our passengers regarding the disruption and inconvenience this will

undoubtedly cause.”

All annual and monthly season ticket holders will automatically receive the value of a day’s travel for each date affected.

Full details will be available on Merseyrail’s website in due course.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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