Gary Lineker joins striking RMT workers on picket line as train chaos continues
A photo of Lineker standing with RMT workers was posted on Twitter, alongside the word 'solidarity'
Gary Lineker has joined striking RMT workers on a picket line in Manchester today.
The former England football star posed for photos with train workers outside Manchester Picadilly station as they walked out for a second day this week.
Alongside the photo of Lineker, Manchester South RMT wrote on Twitter: "@GaryLineker standing with the @RMTunion track workers on strike! Solidarity."
Passenger numbers at major railway stations were below a fifth of usual levels as services were hit on the second day of rail strikes.
Network Rail said the amount of people using its stations on Tuesday, the first day of this week’s strikes, was 12-18 percent of normal, and there was a similar situation on Thursday.
Edinburgh Waverley, London Euston, London Paddington and Liverpool Lime Street were among the stations with far fewer passengers than a typical weekday.
Broadband provider Virgin Media O2 said “millions more people are working from home” this week.
It recorded a 10 percent increase in usage on Tuesday.
Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators walked out again on Thursday as the bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions continued.
Just one in five trains ran, and were mostly restricted to main lines, with around half of the network closed.
Services started later than normal at 7.30am and were due to shut down early at 6.30pm.
Last trains were much earlier than normal, such as London Euston to Glasgow at 1.30pm and London King’s Cross to Edinburgh at 2pm.
The disruption will continue on Friday, with only 60 percent of trains running, mainly because of a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff will not turn up for overnight shifts.
Members of the drivers’ union Aslef on Greater Anglia are walked out on Thursday in a separate dispute over pay.
Boris Johnson branded the strikes a “terrible idea”.
The Prime Minister said: “I just think it is important to remember that these strikes are unnecessary.
“I think people should get around the table and sort it out.”
He added: “This is a Government that is investing more in railways than any previous Government in the last 50 years.”
Downing Street also urged the unions to call off the strikes, while saying it was a “question for the unions” whether to go ahead with Saturday’s action.
A No 10 spokesman said: “We don’t want to see this strike action to continue for a moment longer than it has to.”