Rail strike ‘could compromise hospitality staff and guest safety' as timetable finalised
Fears of the "catastrophic" impact on hospitality trade and concerns over staff and public safety have been voiced by industry representatives ahead of a national rail strike next week.
A timetable due to be published tomorrow will see only around half of Britain's rail network open on strike days, with approximately 20% of services running and only from 7.30am to 6.30pm. Passengers have been urged to plan ahead and only travel by rail if necessary.
Last services from London to Edinburgh, for example, will be leaving around 2pm, as will services from London to cities including Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, with the last train from London to Leeds leaving at 3.05pm
The alternative timetable will be in operation across England, Scotland and Wales from Monday 20 to Sunday 26 June ahead of the planned RMT walk-outs on 21, 23 and 25 June.
On the days that follow the strikes (22, 24 and 26 June) the network will reopen but passengers have been advised to expect disruption on these days, as National Rail said there would not be "enough time between the strike days to fully recover to a normal service".
Members of the RMT Union across Network Rail and 15 train operating companies voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay, jobs and staff safety.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: "The announcement of the strike day timetable today, with services being reduced to 20% on strike days, with the last service ending at 18.30pm, will have a catastrophic impact on trade. This will limit access to cities, events and festivals across the UK, with mounting concerns over staff and public safety.
"The timetabled strike day rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available."
UKHospitality previously warned the strike could disrupt tourism and see hotel bookings cancelled.