news

Merseyrail workers to strike on day of Grand National

RMT says it has no option but to stage walkout in dispute over driver-only trains

Merseyrail(Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Union bosses have announced plans to strike on the day of the Grand National, after talks in the row over driver-only trains broke down.

Workers from Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North will stage a 24-hour walkout on Saturday, April 8, which could throw the travel plans of thousands of racegoers and passengers into chaos.

Transport union RMT has slammed train company Merseyrail for 'wrecking' negotiations in their 'fight to retain safety-critical guards' and say they have been left with no option but to put on further industrial action.

More strikes to come? Merseyrail and RMT talks break off with no agreement

General secretary Mick Cash said: “Merseyrail are completely ignoring the clear wishes of their own passengers, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of driver-only operated trains on their network.

"That pig-headed attitude has forced the union’s hand and the idea that we would compromise on the fundamental issue of rail safety is absurd. "The ball is now firmly in Merseyrail’s court.”

'Severe impact'

The union says it understands the 'severe impact' the action will have on travel to the Grand National in Aintree, but the employer is 'refusing to listen to or engage' on the issue of safe rail operation.

Members of RMT also went on strike on March 13.

The strike saw the Merseyrail timetable severely reduced and no Wirral Line trains out of Chester or Ellesmere Port.

The disruption was more significant than expected as many drivers refused to cross picket lines in solidarity with striking guards.

View full mobile page