Posted by: John Brace | 7 July 2017

Why will Merseyrail services be disrupted on the 8th, 10th and 23rd July 2017 due to strike action?

Why will Merseyrail services be disrupted on the 8th, 10th and 23rd July 2017 due to strike action?


Bidston Train Station (Borderlands Line) 13th August 2016 (John Brace)

Bidston Train Station (Borderlands Line) 13th August 2016 (John Brace)

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.

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.


  1. One day strikes don’t work, they need to strike till they win even if it takes a month or so, but thanks to Maggie of course this won’t happen!

    • Yes, but people don’t get paid by their employer for being on strike and the union only will have so much money to pay out strike pay.

      Since the 80s, there’s been further legislation on trade union activity and strikes and more legislation is in the pipeline.

      The effect being that there are more hoops to jump through before a strike can happen.

  2. Was there a strike when Aintree was on? I can’t remember if it went ahead or indeed if it had any noticeable effect. As far as I am concerned Merseyrail went on strike for 6 months as far as the Wirral line is concerned so **** them and uo the workers!

    • The track renewal work parts on the Wirral line is unconnected to the strike action.

      There was a one day strike in March 2017 that was timed to coincide with a major sporting event for maximum impact.