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RMT strike to cause severe rail disruption on Christmas Eve

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Region & Route:

National

  • RMT strike action is set to severely impact train services across the country on Christmas Eve and passengers are being asked to only travel if absolutely necessary, and if possible to consider travelling another day
  • Trains will finish around 3.00pm with wide regional variations – both earlier and later – with some last trains departing in the morning and some locations seeing no services at all
  • Those who must travel should expect disruption, and plan and check services before starting their journeys.

RMT strike action planned for Christmas Eve will have a severe impact on rail services on the day with passengers being advised to only travel if absolutely necessary or to consider travelling another day.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: 

“RMT suggestions that their planned strike action over the festive period is ‘not targeting Christmas’ would be laughable were the consequences not so painful to so many people including on Christmas Eve.

“The RMT is causing needless misery to its own members, to the railway and to the country’s economy.

“I am so sorry that our passengers are having to bear the brunt of the RMT’s needless strike when a fair  offer is on the table and when only a third of the workforce have rejected it. Our offer guarantees jobs and gives everyone a decent pay-rise of 9% and more. Two of our three trade unions have already accepted and the RMT needs to think again.”

With most vital RMT staff due to leave their posts at 6pm on 24 December, by then, all trains will have to be off the network and safely stabled ready for start-up on 27 December .  Also, hundreds of vital engineering trains need to be moved into position much earlier than normal before the strike begins resulting in passenger journeys having to have been completed, in most locations, by 3pm.

For longer journeys, last trains will be in the morning and passengers are strongly advised to check their journey details ahead of time. Christmas Eve timetables will be published tomorrow. Added industrial action means some rail companies will be unable to run any services on 24th, with further significant impacts between Christmas and New Year.

The RMT strike action also means that even very limited Boxing Day services run in a handful of locations won’t run. Strike action continues through to 6am on the 27th resulting in a later start-up of services, typically between 9am and 12pm.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said:

“The RMT’s willingness to disrupt people’s travel plans for the first Christmas in three years without Covid restrictions is deeply disappointing. We worked hard to avoid this damaging widespread campaign of industrial action affecting travel during the festive period and we apologise to our customers. The RMT overtime ban in place up to 2 January will also affect services and we urge customers to check with the websites and social media of National Rail Enquiries and their train operator.

“We are now focussing on giving passengers the maximum possible certainty so they can make alternative plans if necessary.

“We believe the 8% offer fairly balances the need to make the changes required to improve services and secure the long-term future of the railway with our aspiration to give our people a pay rise.”

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