Strikes to impact trains into New Year, Network Rail says

Network Rail has sent out a warning to passengers to prepare for “significantly disrupted” travel due to strikes at the beginning of January 2023.

This came as members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at CrossCountry staged a 24-hour strike from 9pm on Boxing Day.

Separately, TSSA members at Great Western Railway will strike from noon on Wednesday (December 28 to 11.59am on Thursday (December 29), and at West Midlands Trains from noon on Wednesday to noon on Thursday.

The strikes are part of a long-running campaign for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no un-agreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which addresses the rising cost of living.

Network Rail has urged people to plan ahead and check before they depart as “industrial action means rail travel will be significantly disrupted throughout December and January”.

The TSSA union believes that walkouts by staff will severely affect services at CrossCountry, which covers large swathes of the country, from Penzance to the Midlands, Wales and northern England through to Scottish cities as far north as Aberdeen.

TSSA organising director Nadine Rae said: “Our members at CrossCountry do not want to strike, especially over the Christmas holiday period, but they are sick and tired of being taken for granted.

“They deserve a pay rise to help manage the escalating cost of living, and they rightly demand job security.

“The company, like all the train operators under the control of the Department for Transport, need to face up to the fact that only serious offers which meet our aspirations will end this dispute.”

READ MORE: When are rail strike dates taking place in January 2023?

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “After two years of virtual Christmases, the British public deserve better than to have their festive celebrations impacted by strikes.

“The Transport Secretary and Rail Minister have worked hard to facilitate a fair and reasonable offer, which two unions have accepted, and it is incredibly disappointing that some continue to strike.

“We urge them to step back, reconsider and get back round the table, so we can start 2023 by ending this damaging dispute.”

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