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InTheNews: The latest rail news on Friday, 10th June 2022
The boss of Britain’s biggest trade union has thrown her weight behind the looming rail strike, stressing workers need a pay rise as record inflation begins to bite.
An article in the Mirror says Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison, told the paper rail staff were facing a 6.5 per cent real terms pay cut and that the RMT union was therefore right to reject the government’s pay offer.
If industrial action goes ahead later this month more than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators will take part in what’s been dubbed “biggest rail strike in modern history”.
Returning Scotland’s rail services to normal after weeks of disruption to the timetable will take “a week to ten days” if unions accept an improved pay offer, ScotRail have said.
In an article in The Herald, David Simpson, service delivery director at the nationalised rail service, said that he remains hopeful train drivers will accept an improved pay rise offer of 5 per cent when it is put to them by their union.
The dispute has seen a temporary timetable put in place, leading to more than 700 services being cancelled.
Aslef is now due to meet next week, and then drivers will get to vote on the offer, which will see pay increase by 5 per cent, along with more money for rest day and Sunday working, driving instructor and maternity pay, as well as a policy of no compulsory redundancies for the next five years.
The views of hundreds of organisations and individuals on the future priorities for Britain’s railways have been summarised and published, marking an important step towards the creation of a 30-year strategy that will set the strategic context and key priorities for the rail industry.
The strategy, known as the Whole Industry Strategic Plan, was commissioned by the Transport Secretary as part of the landmark Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail in May 2021.
The strategy will draw on the expertise and insights of the rail sector and beyond, and the call for evidence report that has been published is a key part of that collaborative process.
Over the four-day bank holiday, signalling equipment was moved from the 132-year-old signal box near Philips Park, to Manchester’s state-of-the-art rail operating centre.
As part of wider improvements in central Manchester over several weekends, engineers also installed:
- 29 new signals
- 4000m of new track
- 2800m of train-powering electric cable.
This is part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade which will bring faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between York, Leeds and Manchester.
Photo credit: Great British Railways