More strikes announced for Wigan in rail safety row

Three days of fresh strikes have been announced for Wigan's railway services
Three days of fresh strikes have been announced for Wigan's railway services

Raill travellers in Wigan face further difficulties on the network after more strike action was announced in a long-running safety row.

Rail union the RMT said Northern employees would not be working on three days later this month due to a dispute over retaining guards on trains.

Northern now runs the majority of trains through Wigan’s stations and has slashed services amid turmoil on the lines in recent weeks with enormous numbers of delays and cancellations.

However, the RMT said that all blame for the industrial action on June 19, 21 and 23 should be placed at the door of the beleaguered train operator.

The union’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “This company has reduced the timetable to total chaos and the union will not allow them to slash the safety culture to ribbons in the same fashion.

“German-owned Northern Rail want to run half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

“RMT has agreed arrangements in Wales and Scotland that enshrine the guard guarantee. If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland it should be good enough for the rest of Britain.

“The failure to reach a solution to this dispute is solely down to the company and the union remains ready for genuine and meaningful talks.”