‘Only travel if necessary’ GWR warns as RMT strikes set to impact trains all week
Commuters are being urged to only travel if necessary next week as RMT strikes look set to impact trains.
GWR has this afternoon (Wednesday) announced its timetable for the week, with no trains through West Berkshire on strike days.
Only 30 per cent of its services will be operating on June 21, June 23 and June 25.
There will be no trains running through Bedwyn, Hungerford, Kintbury, Newbury, Newbury Racecourse, Thatcham, Midgham, Aldermaston and Theale and the stations will be closed on these days.
GWR is expecting to run a “very limited service” between 7.30am and 6.30pm from other stations, including Goring & Streatley, Pangbourne, Tilehurst, Reading and Reading West to London Paddington.
Services on June 22 and June 24 will also be severely disrupted, with about 50 per cent of services running and trains are expected to pass through the district on those days.
On those days, the train operator hopes to run services through West Berkshire, from 7am and at around one train per hour, as far as Reading West. From Reading there will be trains into Paddington running more regularly, but no trains will operate before 7am.
During the week of industrial action by the RMT union, GWR is warning people to expect severe disruption and to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary.
The train operator said it “will operate as many trains as possible during the strike action however, most train services will be affected on the days announced”.
Due to the timing of the strike action, services in between strike days will also be affected, it added.
GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: “We very much welcome the opportunity to continue to talk with the RMT to avert strike action. Any strike will impact on customers’ journeys and can only damage the post-Covid recovery everyone at GWR has been working to win back, while at the same time making it more difficult to deliver the changes we need to secure jobs and services for the future.
“I’m hopeful the RMT will step back, however colleagues have been working hard to put contingency plans in place and give certainty to customers who need to travel. The priority will be to keep trains running and customers moving safely, but changes will be needed to allow that to happen and customers may wish to alter their plans.”
The company said it expected any trains that are able to run to be “extremely busy” and added that replacement bus services are not able to be provided.
Customers who have already booked tickets for next week can claim a full refund or can amend their ticket and those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to delay repay compensation if they are delayed by 15 minutes or more.
Season ticket holders can also apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme.
GWR has also said customers with tickets for travel on strike days can travel the day before and up to two days after.