South Yorkshire rail passengers to be affected by 24-hour strike this bank holiday weekend

Rail passengers in South Yorkshire face further delays this weekend as a two-year long bitter row over the role of guards rumbled on.

Services at Sheffield railway station will be affected.
Services at Sheffield railway station will be affected.

Workers on Arriva Rail North (Northern) will stage the first of three further 24-hour walk-outs on Saturday, August 25 in a dispute over the introduction of driver-only operation on their services.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on three consecutive Saturdays, August 25 and September 1 and 8, following the failure of talks.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT committed to talks in good faith with Northern but, instead of making progress towards a settlement that matches the best practice in the rail industry as negotiated elsewhere, the company have opted instead to play fast and loose, making a mockery of the exercise.

"Our reps know when they are being strung along and it's that attitude from the company that has forced us to announce this next phase of action.

"RMT members on Arriva Rail North have been in dispute for well over a year now in a battle to put public safety before private profit and we are angry and frustrated that a genuine opportunity to reach an agreement has been kicked back by the company."

Richard Allan, deputy managing director of Northern, said: "The RMT's announcement of yet more strike action is disappointing and frustrating. This will be a blow for our customers.

"It comes despite Northern proposing and entering into a joint working party with RMT on the future of the on-board role. We have agreed a terms of reference for those talks, agreed to discuss the RMT's preferred outcome first and then held four days of talks with RMT in recent weeks. A further day of talks has also been proposed for Friday August 17.

"Northern is doing everything possible to find a solution to the RMT's dispute and maintains that talking costs nothing, whilst strike action causes inconvenience to customers and damages the case for long-term investment in rail."

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