Leeds train strikes: Passengers warned not to travel on Wednesday with rail strike to shut over half of UK network

Passengers are being warned to only travel by train if “absolutely necessary” during Wednesday’s rail strikes with over half the UK’s network expected to be closed.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 4:30 pm

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at train companies and Network Rail will walk out for 24 hours tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27).

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Over 40,000 Network Rail staff and 14 train operators are expected to join the strike.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay.

"Strike action is the only course open to us to make both the rail industry and government understand that this dispute will continue for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement.

"The public who will be inconvenienced by our strike action need to understand that it is the government's shackling of Network Rail and the TOCs that means the rail network will be shut down for 24 hours."

Network Rail has announced a “very limited” timetable running between 7.30am and 6.30pm across England, Wales and Scotland, with some areas of the country to be left with no rail services at all.

Network Rail has announced a “very limited” timetable running between 7.30am and 6.30pm across England. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Key service providers in and out of Leeds such as TransPennine, Northern, LNER and CrossCountry will all be running skeleton services, with around 80 per cent of trains expected to be cancelled.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Service and Operations Director for TransPennine Express said: “Continued strike action by RMT is disappointing, and while we will do our best to keep those making essential journeys moving, we will only be able to provide a limited service across a handful of routes.

“We are urging anyone planning travel on the impacted date to seek alternative transport and only travel if absolutely necessary, with disruption also expected on the days either side of the strike.”

Passengers travelling to Wednesday night’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 semi-final or Thursday’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games in Birmingham are advised to arrange alternative transport.

Anyone making essential trips are being advised to plan ahead carefully, check before they travel and allow extra time for journeys.

“Despite our best efforts to find a breakthrough, I’m afraid there will be more disruption for passengers this week as the RMT seems hell-bent on continuing their political campaigning, rather than compromising and agreeing a deal for their members,” said, Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive.

“I can only apologise for the impact this pointless strike will have on passengers. It is frustrating to yet again ask our passengers to change their plans and only make essential journeys.”

Passengers with a season ticket that is monthly or longer, or have an activated days’ worth of travel on a flexi season ticket who choose not to travel, can claim compensation for these days through the delay repay scheme.

Services will start later and finish earlier than normal with the final train of the day departing Leeds at 3.05pm.

Passengers should also expect disruption to services on Thursday morning (July 28) as employees return to work.