‘Travel only if absolutely necessary’
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Four days of strikes are set to cause major travel disruption for many Peterborough rail users next week.
With thousands of rail workers due to commence strike action on Tuesday 13 December, far fewer trains than usual will be passing through or starting/terminating at Peterborough in the run up to Christmas.
The four days of industrial action will be made up of two 48-hour strike periods. These will cover Tuesday and Wednesday (13-14 December) and Friday and Saturday (16-17 December).
Train services are scheduled to run on Thursday 15 and Sunday 18 December. However, they are likely to start later in the morning and are expected to be busier than usual as a result of the two 48-hour strikes.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs well-used regional services Great Northern and Thameslink trains, is warning passengers to travel only if absolutely necessary this coming week.
GTR’s Chief Operating Officer Angie Doll apologised to passengers for the “enormous inconvenience” the strike action will cause, and urged customers to “check service information for their local station as some routes, once again, won’t have trains at all.”
She added: “Regrettably, we are asking customers to travel only if absolutely necessary.”
Passengers who are likely to be affected by planned industrial action are being advised to contact their retailer for a refund or to amend their date of travel. Train services cancelled due to strikes will NOT be replaced by buses.
The RMT rail union has led the call for the strikes. It believes both the government and rail companies are refusing to adequately address the concerns its members have about pay, job cuts and changes to terms and conditions. Pay has been a particular flashpoint as the RMT (and other unions) maintain the pay increases its members have been offered thus far do not reflect the rising cost of living
Travellers should keep in mind that additional rail strikes are also likely over the Christmas period, with the RMT scheduling industrial action from Saturday 24 to Tuesday 27 December.