Britain’s RMT transport union announced last month that its members would go on strike on rail networks across the country on Saturday 8th April. This will be the latest industrial action in the long-running dispute over the introduction of Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains.
The day of the strike coincides with this year’s Grand National steeplechase and Merseyrail, which runs rail links to the Aintree race course where the Grand National race is staged, is one of the operators involved in the scheduled strike. According to the union, workers on Merseyrail in northwest England will stage a 24-hour walkout following a breakdown in talks with employers.
Those striking at Merseyrail will be joined by staff on Northern, which runs services to cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, and Southern Rail, which operates London commuter lines to the south coast.
The 24-hour strike will run between midnight Friday (7th April) to midnight Saturday (8th April). There will be no Northern and Merseyrail trains before 8am or after 7pm.
Travellers are being warned to plan ahead and expect disruption as the majority of Northern and Merseyrail services are not expected to run and any that do operate, working to a revised timetable, will be extremely busy.
The RMT is insisting that the DOO system, which takes away the responsibility for the carriage doors from conductors, risks passenger safety. Conversely the operators argue that the system has been judged safe and is already in use on other lines.
RMT conductors on Southern Rail have been staging strikes for almost a year and the dispute widened to the other networks earlier this year.