Train strike - live: Rail and Tube chaos continues as networks struggle to restart after walkouts

·16-min read

The majority of rail and Tube lines are set to be hit this morning by the knock-on effects of Tuesday’s strike.

Travellers have been advised to avoid travelling where possible until about noon.

This is because transport staff, such as signallers and control room officers, will not be working their overnight shifts as part of the industrial dispute involving about 40,000 RMT union members over pay, jobs, and conditions.

Only 60 per cent of trains will be running, mainly due to the delay to the start of morning services.

During the stike on Tuesday, stations that would usually be packed with commuters were nearly deserted. As a result of the strikes, the roads saw more traffic and passengers on buses.

On the rail network, more strikes are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday.

Key Points

  • Travel disruption on Tube and rail today

  • Scotland’s rail network disruption continues

‘We can’t allow unions to win’ says Dominic Raab

Wednesday 22 June 2022 15:48 , Lucy Thackray

The deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, has spoken out about this week’s rail workers’ strike, saying the government “can’t allow” unions to win.

“We can’t allow, I’m afraid, the unions, in this very militant way that they’ve proceeded, to win this argument because it will only hurt the poorest in our society,” Raab told Sky News.

“It is the lowest paid who suffer the most from strike action, and also if we get into this inflationary spiral that the union’s demands would lead to,” he added.

Only around 22 per cent of train services in the UK are running on this week’s strike days - 21, 23 and 25 June.

This afternoon the RMT Union confirmed that tomorrow’s 24-hour walkout would go ahead.

Thursday’s strike will go ahead, RMT Union confirms

Wednesday 22 June 2022 15:30 , Lucy Thackray

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Worker’s Union (RMT) has announced Thursday’s rail strike will go ahead.

It will be the second 24-hour walkout for some 40,000 rail workers across the UK this week, with the first having happened on Tuesday.

A third walkout is set for Saturday 25 June.

Of today’s crisis talks with rail companies, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members.

“Until the government unshackle Network Rail and the train operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed.

“We will continue with our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated settlement that delivers job security and a pay rise for our members that deals with the escalating cost of living crisis.”

‘Scarily unflustered’ RMT Union boss Mick Lynch gains star fans

Wednesday 22 June 2022 14:56 , Lucy Thackray

Despite fronting several other transport strikes in recent months, it looks like RMT Union Leader is gaining quite a following during this week’s rail workers walkout.

Actor Hugh Laurie took to Twitter to praise Mr Lynch’s conduct in interviews, saying: “I don’t know enough about the rail dispute. I only observe that RMT’s Mick Lynch cleaned up every single media picador who tried their luck today.”

Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis said: “He comes across as almost scarily unflustered to me - I don’t envy those who have to face him across a negotiating table.”

Meanwhile, rugby pundit Brian Moore wrote: “Whether you like Mick Lynch or not, he’s slaughtered every interviewer and government guest in the many interviews I’ve seen.”

So who is RMT Union leader Mick Lynch?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Who is RMT leader Mick Lynch?

PM and transport secretary ‘haven’t lifted a finger' to stop strikes, says Starmer

Wednesday 22 June 2022 14:27 , Lucy Thackray

Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps of failing to meet with the RMT Union and rail companies in order to prevent this week’s debilitating, nationwide train strikes.

“The prime minister of this country on his transport secretary haven’t attended one meeting, held a conversation or lifted a finger to stop these strikes,” railed the Leader of the Opposition in the Commons.

Mr Starmer pointed out that Mr Johnson had been able to attend a “lavish ball, where the Prime Minister sold a meeting with himself for £120,000”.

“Why doesn’t he do his job, get round the table and get the trains running?” he added.

Read the full story here:

Stop blaming problems on others and get on with your job, Starmer tells Johnson

Why are rail workers on strike this week?

Wednesday 22 June 2022 13:44 , Lucy Thackray

Hundreds of thousands of rail journeys will be disrupted this week amid industrial action on three separate days.

Members of the RMT are staging three 24-hour walkouts: the first was on Tuesday, and the second and third are set to take place on Thursday and Saturday (23 and 25 June).

There’s a common misconception that it is “train drivers” going on strike - but in actual fact the range of train staff walking out covers signalling staff, guards, track maintenance workers and catering workers.

So what is their dispute with the rail operators and government?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Why are the train strikes happening?

Which trains are set to run during this week’s rail strikes?

Wednesday 22 June 2022 13:15 , Simon Calder

During this week’s planned nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June, only 22 per cent of passenger train services will run – most of them on key links to and from London.

Members of the RMT rail union at Network Rail and 13 train operators voted 8:1 in favour of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions, and will stage 24-hour walkouts on 21, 23 and 25 June.

Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days, from around 7.30am until 6.30pm.

So is your train running this week?

Here’s everything we know:

All the trains running during nationwide rail strike

Do you support the rail strikes?

Wednesday 22 June 2022 12:09

Half of Britain’s rail lines will be closed for three days this week during union strikes. And we want to know what you think and how you might be affected.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps urged workers to reconsider the industrial action as the government planned to introduce legislation to enable the use of agency workers to fill staffing gaps “if the strike drags on”.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Instead of playing to the gallery for his own personal political ambitions, Mr Shapps needs to act like a pragmatic transport secretary who is willing to meet with the union and help us reach a negotiated settlement.”

But we want to know: do you support the rail strikes? Let us know by voting in The Independent’s reader poll:

Do you support the rail strikes?

Wednesday set to be ‘quite a messy day’ for trains, says watchdog Transport Focus

Wednesday 22 June 2022 12:07 , Lucy Thackray

The chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus has warned that Wednesday will be “quite a messy day”, despite not being one of the three official strike days for RMT Union members.

“Virtually all of the train companies have special timetables in place, services are starting up late and trains and staff are not in the right place,” Anthony Smith told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Today is going to be quite a messy day still. So please do not assume that this is a normal day.”

Only around 60 per cent of services are expected to run today, with many stopping earlier than usual in the evening.

Network Rail has warned rail passengers that the disruption from the strike days - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - will spill over into the days after and between.

Good service reported on majority of Tube lines

Wednesday 22 June 2022 11:25 , Helen Coffey

Most of London’s Tube lines are now operating a good service, according to TfL: the Bakerloo, Central, District, Jubilee, Northern and Victoria lines, plus the Elizabeth line, Waterloo & City line and DLR.

Minor delays are reported on the Circle, Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines, while severe delays are plaguing the Hammersmith & City line.

The London Overground is part suspended and is running a reduced service with severe delays reported.

Senior Tory MP tells unions: 'Don't be Putin's friend'

Wednesday 22 June 2022 11:09 , Helen Coffey

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood has said that “Russia must be enjoying the self-inflicted distraction” of this week’s rail strikes.

Speaking on Sky News, he claimed the walkouts were causing “huge self-harm” to the UK.

“I say to the unions: Please don’t be Putin’s friend,” he added.

Circle line now operating

Wednesday 22 June 2022 09:58 , Helen Coffey

More Tube lines are opening up as the network gets back on track after yesterday’s strike.

The Central line has joined the Northern and Victoria lines in operating a good service.

The Bakerloo and Jubilee lines are now operating with minor delays.

The Circle line is back in operation, albeit with “severe delays” alongside the District, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines.

Striking contrast: what a difference 33 years make in rail disputes

Wednesday 22 June 2022 09:53 , Simon Calder

The very first article in The Independent’s series of 48 Hours coincided with the last great rail strike. It was the long, hot summer of 1989. The railway workers felt they were undervalued – with pay to match – and exercised their right to take industrial action. Early one morning in that momentous year, as I emerged from the smoky interior of the Caledonian Airways plane just landed at Gatwick airport from Istanbul, it quickly became clear no trains were running anywhere in Great Britain. I had no choice but to spend almost as much as the trip to Turkey had cost on a taxi that fumed in traffic for three hours before finally reaching London.

On Tuesday 21 June, the first day of the next great rail strike, I planned to replicate at least the last part of the journey – sadly without the sheer wonder and indulgence of Istanbul to precede it. I would head for Gatwick and see how the strike-bound journey would prove in the summer of 2022.

But my cunning plan came unstuck as soon as it had begun...

Follow travel correspondent Simon Calder’s journey during yesterday’s rail strike:

Striking contrast: what a difference 33 years make in rail disputes

Train boss ‘happy for people to come and travel’ despite rail strike

Wednesday 22 June 2022 09:22 , Simon Calder

As talks between rail employers and the RMT union resume, train operators are confident that their “strike day” timetables are robust – with the appeal to passengers not to travel softened for the next two days of industrial action.

Half the rail network in Great Britain will be closed again on Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June as signallers working for Network Rail walk out again. They will be joined by RMT members working for 13 train operators.

But on many intercity and commuter lines, reduced services ran largely as planned on Tuesday, with over 80 per cent on time.

Mark Hopwood, managing director of GWR, told The Independent: “Where we are running trains, we are very happy for people to come and travel, but we really don’t want to have people stranded.

“Just check your times for your journey out – and your journey back.”

Simon Calder reports

Train boss ‘happy for people to come and travel’ despite rail strike

Government cannot allow ‘militant’ unions to ‘win argument’, Dominic Raab says

Wednesday 22 June 2022 09:05 , Ashley Cowburn

Dominic Raab has said the government cannot “relent” and allow striking rail workers to “win” the argument amid the biggest industrial action on the network in three decades.

Risking a fresh clash, the deputy prime minister also described the actions of the country’s largest rail union, RMT, as “militant” — just minutes after insisting the government did not want the dispute to become “politicised”.

As inflation hit a fresh 40 year high, the cabinet minister said it showed the need to take a “firm line” with the union, telling Sky News there was a risk of a “vicious cycle” of rising wages pushing inflation even higher.

Ashley Cowburn reports

Government cannot allow unions to ‘win argument’ over pay, Dominic Raab says

Tube lines operating but with severe delays

Wednesday 22 June 2022 08:53 , Helen Coffey

The London Underground is slowly coming back to life this morning, with more lines back up and running again - but most are operating with severe delays.

The Bakerloo, District, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines all have severe delays; the Central line has minor delays.

The London Overground is part suspended and operating with severe delays.

The Circle line is still suspended.

Tube lines still suspended across London

Wednesday 22 June 2022 08:18 , Helen Coffey

Most Tube lines are still suspended or experiencing severe delays across London this morning.

The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines are suspended; the Piccadilly line and London Overground are part suspended.

The Bakerloo, Central and Jubilee lines have severe delays.

The Northern and Victoria lines are operating a good service, alongside the Waterloo & City line, Elizabeth line and the DLR.

How can I get around London this morning?

Wednesday 22 June 2022 07:45 , Helen Coffey

A widespread strike by Transport for London workers saw the Tube network shut across the city yesterday.

Disruption is expected to continue until mid-morning today.

TfL is advising customers to “avoid making Tube journeys until mid-morning” as “disruption is likely to continue”; no Tube services will run before 8am.

But if you do have an essential journey, how can you get around London this morning?

From buses to bikes to boats, here’s our essential guide:

How can travellers get around London this morning?

Boris Johnson warned against ‘race to bottom on pay’

Wednesday 22 June 2022 07:18 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Unions have accused Boris Johnson of pursuing a “race to the bottom” on pay, as the prime minister set the scene for months of confrontation with striking workers.

As millions of train passengers faced disruption from the largest rail strike in three decades, Mr Johnson said the country must be ready to “stay the course” to head off public sector pay hikes.

However, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that the government’s approach will cause “widespread hardship” among working families and damage the economy by suppressing consumer demand.

With fewer than 20 of the scheduled trains running on Tuesday – and 26 per cent of those which did run subject to delays – RMT chief Mick Lynch hailed a “fantastic” response from rail workers.

Scotland’s rail network disruption continues into Wednesday

Wednesday 22 June 2022 07:06 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Major disruption across Scotland’s rail network will continue into Wednesday after the first of three planned one-day strikes.

ScotRail said it is only able to run services on just five routes on Thursday and Saturday, which will only operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

But on the days in between, there will be continued disruption to services, the train operator warned.

This is mainly due to a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff are not doing overnight shifts.

Katharine Hay has more.

Scotland’s rail network disruption continues into Wednesday amid strikes

Dates, times and everything you need to know about the rail strikes

Wednesday 22 June 2022 06:43 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Union members at Network Rail and 13 train operators will continue their 24-hour walkouts on 23 and 25 June. Management and other staff expect to be able to cover about half the rail network for about 12 hours per day.

On many lines, no trains will run at all.Only main lines and busy commuter services will be served, primarily those radiating from London, and including:

  • West Coast main line to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow

  • Midland main line to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield

  • East Coast main line to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh,

  • GWR to Bristol and Cardiff

In addition, key commuter lines serving London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh will be kept open.

Last trains could leave as early as 2pm in order to complete their journeys by the time the network closes.

Simon Calder and Emily Atkinson report.

When is the UK train strike? Dates, times and everything you need to know

Majority of voters back rail strikes

Wednesday 22 June 2022 06:27 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A majority of voters think this week’s rail strikes are justified and 66 per cent of people think the government has not done enough to prevent them from happening, according to a new poll.

The survey, by Savanta ComRes, found that 58 per cent of those questioned thought the strikes were justified, against just one-third (34 per cent) who say they are not.

The findings, based on a poll of 2,336 adults on Monday, suggest that Boris Johnson’s attempts to use the strikes as a “wedge” issue to draw a political line with Labour may not be succeeding.

Andrew Woodcock reports.

Majority think rail strikes ‘justified’ and PM not doing enough to prevent them

ICYMI: Union official says Shapps a ‘snake-oil salesman’

Wednesday 22 June 2022 06:00 , Lamiat Sabin

In case you missed it...

A top RMT official has described transport secretary Grant Shapps as “a snake-oil salesman” during an industrial dispute between the union, transport employers, and the government.

It comes after Mr Shapps told parliament that the union wishes “to drag the railway back to the 1970s” with its series of strikes this week over pay, job cuts, and conditions.

Read the full story here by Simon Calder

Grant Shapps described as ‘a snake-oil salesman’ by union boss

More travel disruption on Tube and rail today

Wednesday 22 June 2022 05:30 , Lamiat Sabin

The effects of yesterday’s Tube and rail strikes are to cause more travel disruption today.

No London Underground services will be running until after 8am, Transport for London (TfL) said.

TfL has advised people to avoid travelling before the afternoon as the Tube, London Overground, and Elizabeth line will have a reduced service in the morning.

The delay to the start of services is due to signallers and control room officers not working their overnight shifts as part of the industrial dispute.

On the rail network, only 60 per cent of trains will be running.

People are advised to check the status of their route before travelling.

About 40,000 RMT union members have taken industrial action over pay, job cuts, and conditions.

Wednesday 22 June 2022 05:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage of the disruption to Tube and rail services expected today.

Keep tuned for updates.

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