Passengers stranded in post-Christmas chaos: Brits heading home and preparing for New Year’s Eve parties face delays and cancellations after strikes as union boss accuses MPs of ‘interfering’ with pay deal negotiations
- Brits face long waits and cancellations as more rail strikes take place today
- The AA predicts long delays on motorways due to high volume of cars
- Millions will be travelling back home or to work after their Christmas breaks
Brits heading home or back to work after their Christmas breaks are facing massive delays to their journeys due to the ongoing strikes.
Industrial action over a pay dispute by rail workers has made travelling a nightmare this month, as one union boss accused MPs of ‘interfering’ with negotiations.
Today, many are planning to avoid the rail chaos by driving instead though there are likely to be delays, as an estimated 12 million cars will take to the road.
TSSA organising director Nadine Rae said the Government can help end strike action if it allows employers to ‘freely negotiate’ with others.
Ms Rae told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that ‘things have not changed since before Christmas’ in terms of a deal, despite reports of negotiations being ‘nearly there’.
She said: ‘It’s still in the Government’s gift to ensure the employers can freely negotiate and can put together a deal that’s acceptable to our members and affordable to employers.’
She added: ‘It’s the Government that needs to shift this situation and we really want them to, we know the disruption is frustrating for people.’
Brits heading home today are facing massive delays to their journeys due to the ongoing strikes (people waiting at King’s Cross station yesterday)
Sources told the Daily Mail that RMT union boss Mick Lynch (centre) has softened his stance and has been ‘the most deal-minded’ they have ever found him in recent meetings
There have been a series of strikes this month, dubbed ‘the winter of discontent’, which have hampered travel during the festive season (PCS picket line outside Birmingham Airport on December 23)
It was reported that rail union and industry bosses are ‘nearly there’ in their efforts to agree a pay deal.
Rail bosses hopeful of positive outcome as union chief Mick Lynch ‘softens his stance’ and eyes ‘practical solutions’
Sources told the Daily Mail that RMT union boss Mick Lynch has softened his stance and has been ‘the most deal-minded’ they have ever found him in recent meetings.
A source said: ‘Mick has been the most deal-minded he’s been. He needs a way out of the dispute.
‘Rather than things just being dismissed, he’s been putting forward practical solutions. There’s been talk of using language creatively to get a deal over the line.
‘We’re nearly there, although next week’s strikes are looking baked in. A deal by the end of January is not impossible.’
It comes as members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at Great Western Railway and at West Midlands Trains are holding a 24-hour strike from noon today.
West Midlands says its services will not operate today due to the TSSA industrial action.
Great Western said they expect to operate at a significantly reduced level of service until Friday and warned that trains are expected to be very busy.
The train company has advised passengers to check their journeys before travelling, especially if travelling late at night, as some short-notice alterations or cancellations are likely.
The AA warned of long traffic jams today due to a high number of cars on the road (pictured: congestion on the M25 yesterday)
Yesterday there was more travel chaos as railway stations were slow to get services up and running after strikes that ended at 6am.
Engineering work across the country also saw hundreds of people waiting at major stations for trains.
Today AA says there may be heavy congestion on major roads and motorways as they predict 47 per cent of people, 12,247,703 cars, will be travelling.
The motoring group says the industrial action by rail staff and planned engineering works will lead people to choosing to drive.
It says the M25, the M4 and M27 are set to suffer from significant delays due to the sheer volume of cars on the road.
Further disruption could be possible if there are incidents or breakdowns on stretches of motorway, it added.
Source: Read Full Article