Rail strikes begin in Wigan

Rail strikes have begun in Wigan, with delays affecting many people across the borough.

By Matt Pennington
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:41 pm

They have divided opinion too with some people backing the action and others showing little sympathy.

The main aim of the industrial action is to preserve the rail workers’ terms and conditions which are government-led and are being opposed by the rail companies.

Furthermore a pay rise is on the staff wish list after facing a number of wage freezes.

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A picketer at Wigan North Western said: “We are willing to take it as long as is necessary.

"We aren’t doing it to turn against the public, there is never an ideal time to strike” she added.

A view of an empty platform at Wigan North Western

But the public don’t see this from the same angle, as delays cause severe inconvenience especially in getting to work on time.

With only one train scheduled for Tuesday June 21 it was no surprise that everyone wasn’t supportive of the action.

One commuter said: “I regularly take a 15 to 20-minute rail journey from Wigan to St Helens but today this has ballooned to 46 minutes because I am having to travel by bus instead.

"This is very inconvenient and I am sure there are plenty others who feel the same.

Another view of an empty platform at Wigan North Western

“I understand why the staff are on strike, but I don’t want to be collateral damage because of these delays.”

Another said: “I am right behind them. Wages are falling well behind inflation and you can’t blame people trying to keep their heads above water in this cost of living crisis.”

But a third said: “It just isn’t fair. These strikes are doing to damage the trade of so many businesses that have been trying to stay on their feet after the pandemci and during this economic mess.”

Some businesses are suffering a decrease in custom, with people who often rely on taxis to get to the station they are no longer required as people plan to work from home for the week.

Further strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday this week and the public are advised to plan their commutes in advance to avoid the potential delays.