Transport Secretary tells RMT boss to ‘make a new year’s resolution’ and ‘get off the picket line’ as MILLIONS face disruption

Industrial action is taking place across the country

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The Travel Secretary has urged RMT union boss Mick Lynch to “make a New Year’s resolution” and end the rail strikes as the country faces severe disruption on the railways.

Passengers will face fresh travel disruption from Tuesday as tens of thousands of workers take strike action in bitter disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.

Picture date: Tuesday December 27, 2022.
Picture date: Tuesday December 27, 2022.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train operators will stage two 48-hour walkouts from Tuesday and Friday, while drivers in the Aslef union will strike on Thursday.

Picket lines will again be mounted outside railway stations across the country in a repeat of what became a familiar sight last year.

Passengers, including those returning to work after the festive break, are being warned to expect “significant disruption” as only a limited number of trains will run.

The advice is to only travel if absolutely necessary, allow extra time and check when first and last trains will depart.

There may also be disruption to services on Sunday as the striking workers return to their duties.

On RMT strike days, around half of the network will shut down, with only about 20% of normal services running.

Trains that do run will start later and finish much earlier than usual – with services typically running between 7.30am and 6.30pm on the day of the strike.

The train drivers’ strike on Thursday will affect 15 operators and will result in even fewer services running, with some companies operating “very significantly reduced” timetables.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper
Transport Secretary Mark Harper

Speaking to GB News, Travel Secretary Mark Harper urged Mick Lynch to return to the negotiating table to resolve the industrial action.

“We’ve actually been very involved with in this… We’ve changed the tone of the discussions.”

Asked by Martin Daubney for his New Year’s message to the RMT, Mr Harper replied:

“Make a New Year’s resolution, get off the picket line, round the negotiation table and let’s get these damaging strikes to an end.”