Northern Rail strike looms as talks over ‘driver only’ trains break down

Buxton transport, railway station
Buxton transport, railway station

Rail union RMT has confirmed that a further two days of strike action on Northern rail services from Buxton will go ahead next month.

The industrial action will take place on Friday September 1 and Monday September 4 after talks to avert it broke down last week.

The long-running dispute is over the proposed introduction of driver-only trains, a move which the union claims would make the travelling public less safe.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash, announcing the strike on Friday morning, said: “The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company.

“We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to fail to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the DfT to join us in round table talks aimed at finding a solution.”

Alan Chaplin, Northern’s managing director, said: “Northern is modernising with new and updated trains, faster and more frequent services, and better stations from now until 2020.

“We want to make changes to the on-board colleague role to make it fit for the future, better supporting customers on trains and at stations.”

“Northern Rail is prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years.

“Our offers to discuss every detail on the future responsibilities and training have been rejected by RMT.”