VIDEO: Watch as one of biggest rail strikes since 1990s hit Leeds train station

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Commuters in Leeds planned ahead and avoided using trains as the city’s railway station braced itself for a day of disruption.

Fewer than half of Northern’s trains were running today (Monday) when members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walked out on strike.

Date: 13th March 2017.
Picture James Hardisty.
Northern Rail Strike affecting passengers at Leeds City Station.

Date: 13th March 2017. Picture James Hardisty. Northern Rail Strike affecting passengers at Leeds City Station.

Leeds railway station, expected to be quiet, was coping with the alterations as replacement bus services and staff were on hand to redirect commuters at rush hour.

Northern services from Leeds, including trains to Bradford, Castleford, Doncaster, Huddersfield and Sheffield, stopped for the evening by 7pm.

Jessica Horsman, 29, had to change her usual route to Bradford from Leeds railway station because services were cut.

She said: “Normally I would have got the train to Bradford Interchange, but instead I’ve got to go to Forster Square and then walk. It’s not been stressful, it’s just an inconvenience.”

RMT union members were striking over plans to axe rail guards from Northern trains, which it said compromised passenger safety.

While the company’s limited services were busy, most were able to find seats as the majority of Northern’s usual commuters appeared to have altered there transport plans or opted to work from home.

Commuter Ethan Bos, 22, of Horsforth, was let out of work an hour early to catch his train.

He said: “I can understand why they’re doing it but it victimises the consumer, it’s a lose-lose situation.”

Only Northern’s services were affected, and TransPennine Express and Virgin East Coast trains to London and Edinburgh were not affected.

Paul Waring, 69, from Edinburgh, said: “We have just come down and are going back to Edinburgh. Everything so far has been fine.

Northern thanked customers for altering travel plans and train staff.

Normal rail services will resume today.

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