Train strikes are set to spread across the country after a militant trade union announced coordinated action on three railways.
Long-suffering passengers of Southern Rail will now be joined in their misery by commuters using Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail in a walkout on March 13.
It marks the 30th day of strike action by train guards on Southern and will mean yet more disruption for hundreds of thousands of passengers across the South East. But the walkouts – orchestrated by the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union – have now spread to northern England. Arriva operates local passenger services right across the North, while Merseyrail runs services in and around Liverpool.
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Rail misery is expected to spread to the north with a new set of one-day strikes
RMT leader Mick Cash warned earlier Southern Rail strikes could spread across the country
Commuters have become increasingly angry over the disruption to services
The row is over changes to the role of train guards. Rail bosses want to strip them of responsibility for opening and closing the train doors, and give this task to drivers, who can monitor platforms through CCTV monitors.
The RMT claims this is dangerous, despite the system having been approved by regulators and used on trains across the UK for more than three decades.
Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT, has been warning for some time that the strikes that have plagued Southern could spread across the country.