Kent transport

Rail strikes close majority of Kent stations as South East warns to ‘only travel if absolutely necessary’

Rail services in many parts of the county will be at a standstill again today as the strike causes huge disruption to much of the network.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite are standing down for 24 hours, affecting Network Rail and a number of rail companies across the country .

Train stations will be empty again as rail strikes hit the county

This includes Southeastern and Southern, which provide services in Kent. He arrives on the heels of Thursday’s action.

The South East says passengers should only try to travel if “absolutely necessary” and warns that many parts of the county will see no service.

It says only 43 of its 180 stations will be open and no replacement bus service will serve closed stations.

Those traveling should expect “serious disruption”, he warns.

A limited service will only operate to Dartford, Ashford (on the high-speed line) and Sevenoaks.

Only a very limited service is provided with passengers invited to travel only if "absolutely necessary".  Photo: Southeast
Only a very limited service is provided with passengers invited to travel only if “absolutely necessary”. Photo: Southeast

Sunday morning train services will be affected by the ripple effect of Saturday’s action.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith, but we cannot tolerate being bullied or deceived into accepting a raw deal for our members.

“The government must end its interference in these disputes so that the employers can reach a negotiated settlement with us.”

TSSA members taking action include staff working in ticket offices, stations, control rooms, engineering, as well as planning, scheduling and other support roles.

The union is asking for guarantees of non-forced dismissal, a salary increase in line with the cost of living and promises of non-unilateral modification of employment conditions.

If you plan to use the trains this weekend, you may need to think again
If you plan to use the trains this weekend, you may need to think again

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is clear from their coordinated approach that the unions are determined to cause as much misery as possible for the same taxpayers who have paid £600 per household to ensure that no railway workers have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“Unfortunately the union bosses have a short memory and will repay this act of good faith by ruining the summer plans of millions of hard working people.”