Why will Merseyrail services be disrupted on the 8th, 10th and 23rd July 2017 due to strike action?
Merseyrail employees who are part of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are striking on Saturday 8th July 2017, Monday 10th July 2017 and Sunday 23rd July 2017.
Although Merseyrail are hoping to run to a reduced timetable on strike days (which means Merseyrail trains will not stop at many stations on the Wirral and be less frequent at the others) the entire train network was known to be stopped completely on a strike day earlier this year in March for safety reasons.
Trains on the Bidston to Wrexham Central line which is run by Arriva Trains Wales won’t be affected by this strike. Although people planning to connect at Bidston to a Merseyrail train during one of the three strike days will be.
There is also a strike by Northern Rail staff planned for the 8th July 2017, 9th July 2017 and 10th July 2017 which will result in a reduced service (on Merseyside this is generally services that go to and from Liverpool Lime Street). Further details on their reduced timetable are on Northern Rail’s website.
The Merseyrail and Northern Rail strikes are caused by a dispute between employers and the union over new trains in 2020 which will be staffed only by a driver and not a driver and guard as at present.
The lost revenue to Merseyrail during each strike day is estimated by the RMT union at £139,000 a day (plus the cost of contingency arrangements).
Under the franchise agreement between Merseytravel and Merseyrail, the public sector will pay Merseyrail for the lost profits due to industrial action.
So for the three strike days this is estimated at £417,000 (plus contingency arrangements) paid for out of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority budget (who control Merseytravel).
Last year in a private meeting councillors on the LCRCA Merseytravel Committee and Council Leaders on the LCRCA agreed to the contract for new trains.
On Monday 10th July (one of the strike days) Liverpool City Council’s Constitutional Issues Committee meets to decide on a recommendation to pay the Chair of the Merseytravel Committee Cllr Liam Robinson £29,983 a year for his role on the Merseytravel Committee (in addition to amounts he receives as a Liverpool City Council councillor).
Cllr Liam Robinson is also the portfolio holder for Transport on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority which meets next week on Friday 14th July 2017.
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