Durham rail users told to avoid travelling due to strike action

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Passengers who use the East Coast Main Line have been told only to travel if it is absolutely necessary tomorrow (Thursday 18th August) and again on Saturday 20th August.

Rail unions have called for national industrial action, meaning that train services will only run between 07:30 and 18:30.

Less than half of the usual services are planned to run between London and Edinburgh via stations in the North East.

For example, for someone wanting to travel from Durham to London King’s Cross, the last train available is at 14:53, according to National Rail Enquiries.

The following LNER service, leaving Durham at 16:34, terminates at Doncaster at 17:51, with the service not resuming until the next morning at 07:14.

The unions are in dispute with the Government and rail companies about pay, job cuts and changes to terms and conditions.

On pay, they say salaries should increase to reflect the rising cost of living.

Less than half of the usual services are planned to run between London and Edinburgh via stations in the North East

One of the employers involved in the dispute, Network Rail, says its latest offer is worth more than 5%, but this depends on workers accepting “modernising reforms”. However, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) says this is a “paltry sum” and represents a real terms pay cut.

The RMT have today confirmed the strike action will go ahead and that more than 50,000 workers will walk out following no breakthrough in talks.

Members of both the Unite union and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) will also take part in the industrial action.

Check before you travel on the National Rail website

Sarah Reid, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route said: “Passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line will again face a limited train service due to the ongoing industrial action on Thursday and Saturday. 

“I’d urge those who absolutely need to travel by train to plan ahead, check their journey and expect severe disruption. I can only apologise for the impact that this will have on people’s plans.”  

For university students who are making the August return to drop off their belongings or move in to their new house for the year, it is not just the strike days that they need to be wary of.

Alongside the two days of strikes, passengers should expect disruption on the mornings of Friday 19th August and Sunday 21st August as a result of the strike action on previous days.

Check before you travel on the National Rail website.

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