Limited rail services running in South Yorkshire as workers walk out on strike 

Only 30 per cent of Northern Rail services are running in South Yorkshire today, as rail workers walk out on strike
Only 30 per cent of Northern Rail services are running in South Yorkshire today, as rail workers walk out on strike

Only 30 per cent of Northern Rail services are running in South Yorkshire today, as rail workers walk out for the 32nd time in the long-running dispute over the role of guards on trains. 

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on Arriva Rail North (Northern) have mounted picket lines outside stations across the region today.

Northern confirmed it would be operating a reduced timetable, with few trains running before 9am or after 6pm.

The company expects to run 30 per cent of services, but some routes will have no trains, and others will have a bus replacement service.

Strikes will also be held on the next three Saturdays on Northern, while RMT members on South Western Railway will start a five-day walkout next Tuesday in the same dispute.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Guards play a crucial role, which is why RMT has secured agreements on other English franchises that enshrine the guard guarantee.

"Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.

"RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern but the company are not interested and would prefer to continue to bury their heads in the sand regardless of the impact on the travelling public.

"We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks."

The RMT later said its members were solidly supporting the action.

Mr Cash said: "RMT members are standing united and determined again this morning onNorthern Rail on the 32nd day of action in the continuing fight for safety, security and access on our trains.

"Their resilience is a credit to the trade union movement and the communities that they serve.

"We are angry and frustrated that the company continue to refuse genuine talks that could work out a deal that underpins the guard guarantee and which matches the best practice across the rail industry.

"RMT members remain absolutely resolute in the campaign for a safe, secure and accessible railway for all while the German owners of the company are quite happy to take a reckless gamble with passenger safety."