Merseyrail strike – What will happen next? (Claughton byelection)
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you exercise it?
To whom are you accountable?
How can we get rid of you?”
The Claughton byelection and Metro Mayor election raise wider political issues than just about what happens in Claughton.
Claughton’s only train station is Upton train station (which ironically is unaffected by the strike action and track renewal disruption on the Merseyrail network) as it’s on the Borderlands Line run by Arriva Trains Wales.
One of Claughton’s existing councillors Councillor Steve Foulkes is on the Merseytravel Committee and commented albeit somewhat reluctantly about the issues to do with Merseytravel, Merseyrail and the RMT. Cllr Steve Foulkes is on Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Merseytravel Committee and is the Lead Member for Strategy and Finance.
After a number of strike days (including during the high-profile Aintree Grand National), Merseyrail and the RMT union resumed talks.
Talks have unfortunately broken down.
Ultimately this political issue is a matter that disrupts (in conjunction with track renewal work scheduled to finish on the 18th June 2017) travel by train for many people across Merseyside.
The incoming Metro Mayor will ultimately be politically accountable to the people for transport in the Liverpool City Region (Merseyside plus Halton) area. It is Merseytravel that decided on the franchise agreement to Merseyrail.
Personally, I know people on all sides of this dispute but hope whoever is elected as Metro Mayor on Friday will work with others and show the political leadership required to resolve this issue.
The alternative is years of strike action. Under the terms of the franchise agreement between Merseyrail and Merseytravel Merseyrail receive money for any lost revenue as a result of strike days. This money comes out of your taxes.
Polling day for both the Metro Mayor election and Claughton byelection is Thursday 4th May 2017.
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