Transport thread — ongoing UK strikes

Public Transport - Whats it Like Where you Live?

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PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Jun 1, 2001
I normally get the train to work and must say its a relief when th trains run on time but it rarely happens. The trains smell, they are aged and they are packed and as you can imagine its not a pleasant experience using the trains.

What's public transport like where you live ?
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Haven't got any complaints tbh. Trains run on time, as do the buses (most of the time).

In regards to the conditions, the buses are kept very well, as for the tube....its OK but could do better.
I live in San Jose bay area in california and here the public transport system is very good. It is in the form of bus, and light rail and is quite economical and timely.

but in america, in most places i think you need a car no matter how good the public transportation system is.
We in London are screwed big time, the public transport is mediocre and extremely expensive
Everyone wants to drive cars but "they" decided to put up all these ridiculous charges so people use public transport, all the while the cost of public transport goes up and it still sucky and not upgraded
Going in the tube in the summer during peak hours can be a horrific experience
Germany definetely has the best public transport system all across Europe. Never had problems ever and always on time...
Hamilton, Canada. Very comfortable and regular bus schedules. Light rail is under construction.

Toronto - plenty of buses, light rail, subway
Zechariah said:
Hamilton, Canada. Very comfortable and regular bus schedules. Light rail is under construction.

Toronto - plenty of buses, light rail, subway

yup the GTA area's buses have splendid punctuality even in the harshest of winters they are rarely off schedule. It's almost scary in fact lol.

The subway is fantastic, those things are awesome to travel in and they are extremely well kept in my opinion.
Busses are OK, but often they are full and will not even stop at your stop. Meaning your wait can be fairly long.
We have pretty good system here in Toronto. Rush hours service is fast you don't have to wait for no more than 2 minutes to catch the next train. Beside peak hours no more than 3-4 minutes. Last year Toronto Transit Commision (TTC) increased their service massively during business hours. Trains and buses are clean and well-maintained. Usually no delays and you get to your destination easily.

TTC is considered as one of the safest transit system in the world.
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Buses run on time here, but they're very very slow from point A to point B. Ie, you could drive, and it would take you 20 minutes less on a 30 minute bus journey route.
I have used public transport in London and in New york.

London's public transport slow, cramped, unreliable, too expensive and unbearable in the summer as there is no air conditioning on the tubes... the only positive is that it is clean, spotless in most parts.

New yorks public transport on the other hand is filthy, stinks of pee but is bloody reliable, fast, cheap and very comfortable...

my cost to get to work in central London from Hounslow was £6 and took 1.15 hrs each way.

my cost to get to work from Edgewater NJ to mid town NYC is $3 and takes 20 minutes.

I can also take the ferry from outside my apartment to NYC that takes 15 minutes but is expensive $10 one way but is worth the civilised commute.

I prefer the NY/NJ transit to London's any day... even though it's grim.


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Went to a university open day today and used the tube...perfect, no complaints at all. On the way back i was waiting for a bus for 20 of the same buses came around 3 times before my bus came. Then...the bus drives 5 mins and then stops, says the destination has changed so we have to get on another bus! :pissed::pissed:

I'm in Toronto, and the transit system is fantastic here. People still complain, but some will always do that!
Saj do you take from moorfields to st michaels or a bit further.. i used to use from chester to liverpool which was fine if it ever ran on time..
madaboutlfc said:
Saj do you take from moorfields to st michaels or a bit further.. i used to use from chester to liverpool which was fine if it ever ran on time..
Mossley Hill into Lime Street yar.

Trains stink, are generally late and overcrowded :(
Come on folks lets have some insight into Pakistan's transport system. Savak, How is the transport system in Karachi?
Vegitto1 said:
Come on folks lets have some insight into Pakistan's transport system. Savak, How is the transport system in Karachi?

I live in the US but i visited Gujranwala ( about 40 miles north of Lahore )
last year and was amazed at the scale and variety of transportation choices available for the benefit of the great people of Gujranwala.

There were of course the horse-carriages roaming the streets and highways of our beautiful city. But to my amazement, there were rickshaw's, Chand-Gaari and buses available as well and the services available until late at night. :)))
The majority of South Africans use minibus taxis to commute.

There is no public transport from the town I live and the city centre where I work and so I use my own car.

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Vegitto1 said:
Come on folks lets have some insight into Pakistan's transport system. Savak, How is the transport system in Karachi?
The pathan bhai control the public transport system in Pakistan and it is not very pleasant each day accidents are a common occurrence as these guys drive like crazy ********. :pissed:
I remember when I first went to Kenya in 1998 my brother in law and I decided to get the coach back from Mombassa to Nairobi purely for the "adventure" of it.

We were sat near the front of the bus and I noticed the driver with a 4 pack of beer and chewing from a bag of some very strange looking vegetation.

It was one scary ride !
MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — A speeding bus overturned on a highway in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 13 passengers and injuring 29 others, police said.

The bus was traveling from the port city of Karachi to Peshawar in the northwest when the accident took place in the district of Sukkur in southern Sindh province, police officer Nadeem Ahmed said.

The accident happened apparently due to the driver's negligence, Ahmed said. The driver is among the injured.

Deadly accidents are common in Pakistan due to poor road infrastructure and disregard for traffic laws.
At least 11 people were killed and 16 others were injured when a passenger bus plunged into a deep gorge in Zamanabad, Muzaffarabad on Saturday.

According to Express, three children were also among the deceased and five passengers were reported to be in critical condition.

The passenger bus was en-route from Rawalpindi to Chakothi village in Hattian Bala District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the police, the rescue teams rushed to the site after the accident and shifted the bodies of three passengers to Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences and six bodies to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), while the other injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Earlier in January, At least eight people were killed and 22 others were injured when a high-speed passenger bus overturned on Bela National Highway in Lasbela district of Balochistan.

According to reports, among the deceased were also two levies personnel deployed at the check post which the bus hit before it overturned whereas the injured had been shifted to a local hospital.

Edhi officials said that the bus was en-route from Quetta to Karachi.

Express Tribune
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">*This is serious! Farmers are endangering the lives of so many travelling on motorways. <a href="">@GovtPunjabPK</a> should act and punish those who are putting the lives of others in danger ! <a href=""></a></p>— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) <a href="">May 29, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
At least 17 people including 14 members of a family were killed on Monday after a passenger van plunged into a river in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The van was en route to Rawalpindi from Chilas city of Gilgit-Baltistan when the accident happened.

Body of a woman has been recovered, Muhamad Hamza, an official of emergency rescue service Rescue 1122 in Upper Kohistan said, adding that rescue teams have been searching for other missing passengers of the van.
At least 23 killed, several injured as bus carrying pilgrims falls into ravine in Balochistan's Khuzdar

At least 23 people were killed and several others were others injured when a bus overturned at a sharp turn on the M8 motorway in Khuzdar district and fell into a ravine before dawn on Friday, according to the medical superintendent of Khuzdar Civil Hospital, Ismail Bajoi.

Earlier, Khuzdar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Major (retd) Bashir Ahmed confirmed 18 deaths.

The deputy commissioner told that the bus was carrying pilgrims from Wadh in Balochistan to Dadu in Sindh. He added that 15 of the victims died on the spot, while three others succumbed to their injuries during treatment at the hospital.

Levies personnel and rescue workers shifted the bodies and the injured to the hospital.

The DC said two brothers and four others of a family were among the deceased, adding that the bodies had been sent to the victims’ hometowns via ambulances after the completion of medico-legal formalities.

According to DC Ahmed, the pilgrims were residents of Dadu who were returning home after attending the annual urs at Sufi saint Abdul Qadir Naqshbandi’s shrine in Wadh.

He said the bus driver lost control of the vehicle while making a sharp turn, adding that the bus was overcrowded and several pilgrims were sitting on its roof.

Ahmed said the bus driver was among the injured and some of them were in critical condition.

"There is not a single passenger who does not have an injury because of the bus accident,” Ahmed told the AP by phone.

Separately, Imam Bakhsh, one of the injured passengers, told AP by phone that the passengers had repeatedly warned the driver to drive more carefully. He blamed the driver for the accident, saying that he was enjoying music and driving recklessly.

However, Levies official Imran Ahmad, said while the driver’s negligence was the apparent cause of the accident, officials were still investigating the matter.

The accident has come as the grim reminder of a similar incident last year, in which five of a family were killed and 24 others were injured as a bus carrying pilgrims overturned near Shah Noorani crossing in Lasbela district, Balochistan.

The bus, carrying over 30 pilgrims, was going to the shrine of Hazrat Bilawal Shah Noorani in the Wadh area of Khuzdar district from Karachi. It had also overturned at a sharp turn in the hilly area near Shah Noorani crossing.

The bus overturning had left five people dead on the spot.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shocked & deeply saddened to learn of the tragic road accident of a Rajanpur bound bus, near DG Khan resulting in the loss of 30 precious lives. Have asked Punjab govt to offer rapid assistance & support to the families of the victims.</p>— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) <a href="">July 19, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>
Crazy this but seems to happen a lot.

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I think the public transport in GTA area is pretty good.

But I think its a bit expensive, I would like to see the prices be reduced a little bit.

The GTA Pass is around 240 $ /month which is pretty high. It should have been around 200 $
At present TfL is in the pits. On the verge of bankruptcy so the mayor has raised council tax to save TfL. More strikes. Ticket prices have increased.

Absolute shambles. Time to nationalise TfL.
When I was a Londoner it was really good.

Now I live in the sticks it is dreadful. Buses once per hour (maybe), no buses after 6 pm and no Sunday service.
HK has the best public transport with the train line covering 95% of HK. The MTR has an on-time arrival rate of 99.99999%. There is a train every two minutes. Very few own private cars.
<b>Tube strikes: 'High chance' of no London Underground on Tuesday</b>

There is a "high chance" of no services being run on the Tube network on Tuesday, transport bosses have warned.

About 10,000 London Underground workers from the The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union will walk out at 00:01 GMT on Tuesday and Thursday.

The dispute is over plans by Transport for London (TfL) to cut up to 600 station posts, as well as concerns over pensions and working conditions.

Unlike November's industrial action, all lines will be affected.

TfL has described the action as "extremely disappointing" and urged the RMT to "get around the table with us".

In a statement TfL warned: "Londoners whose journeys rely on Tube connections are advised to work from home if they can, consider different modes and allow extra time for essential journeys."

It added that no jobs would be lost as part of the proposals but vacancies would not be backfilled.

Conciliation service Acas has been in touch with both parties.

Walkouts are due to take place between 00:01 and 23:59 on both days. The action is separate to the ongoing Night Tube strikes, which are in a dispute over rotas and due to continue until 19 June.

November saw London's most widespread strike action in three years, affecting six lines.

On Friday, the government agreed to extend a TfL bailout until the end of June.
<b>London Tube strike: Passengers face severe disruption after RMT action</b>

Eight out of 11 London Underground lines are continuing to run a reduced service, following a huge strike by 10,000 Tube workers.

Members of the RMT union walked out for 24 hours on Tuesday in a dispute over job losses and pensions.

The majority of the network was shut and transport chiefs said not to travel before at least 07:30 GMT on Wednesday.

The Central, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines are running but other lines have "severe" or "minor" delays.

Nineteen Tube stations, including Nine Elms, Tottenham Hale, Hendon Central and Lambeth North, were shut earlier "while the service recovered from strike action by the RMT", but only East Acton remains closed.

The disruption to rush-hour travel also affected the London Overground, which continues to operate a "reduced service", and Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which was part-suspended earlier but is now running.

Trams and TfL Rail were unaffected.

Transport for London (TfL) had warned customers to avoid travelling in the early morning and to aim to make their journeys later in the day.

Further disruption is expected all day on Thursday, when another 24-hour strike is set to take place, with TfL bosses advising customers to work from home if they can and that disruption is likely to continue into Friday morning.
HYDERABAD: Fifteen people died Wednesday and 10 others were left injured after a truck and van collided at the Indus Highway in the Jamshoro district of Sindh, the senior superintendent of police said.

The initial death toll was 13, but later, two injured people — who along with other victims were shifted to a nearby hospital — succumbed to their wounds, the SSP said, as he mentioned that the affectees belonged to Kandiaro.

The incident occurred when a speedy truck hit a van near Jamshoro's Manjhand area, the SSP added.

In response, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah expressed grief and directed the commissioner, deputy commissioner, and SSP Hyderabad to ensure cooperation with the affectees.

The chief minister said arrangements should be made to send the bodies of the deceased to their respective areas. "I should be kept updated about the relief works in this regard," he told the officials.

The first trains have started operating on London's long-awaited Elizabeth line railway.

It will slash many journey times in the capital but is three-and-a-half years late and £4bn over budget.

The line stretches from Reading and Heathrow Airport, through central London, to Abbey Wood in southeast London and Shenfield in Essex.

A crowd of about 300 gathered outside Paddington Station to be on the first service.

It departed on time at 6.33am with excited train enthusiasts recording the moment on social media.

Colin Kelso, 18, travelled from Glasgow and wore a hoody with "Purple train" on the front, in reference to the line's colour scheme.

"I want to get on the first train," he said. "I've always liked trains and have been keeping up to date with the project."

Hakim Colclough, 24, from Chessington, Surrey, also travelled into London for the opening, which he called "a once-in-a-lifetime thing".

Another keen commuter was pictured in a waistcoat matching the seat design of the new trains.

The Crossrail project was one of Europe's biggest infrastructure projects but was best by delays after originally being scheduled to open at the end of 2018.

It's expected to serve 200 million passengers per year and increase London's train capacity by 10%.

'A grand, cavernous underground cathedral'

Despite the fanfare on Tuesday morning, services will not yet run uninterrupted along the whole line.

Passengers must change at Paddington until autumn, while those going between central London and Shenfield have to change at Liverpool Street.

It will also be closed on Sundays to allow for more testing and software updates, and Bond Street station is still not ready.

Transport bosses will be hoping the faster, quieter trains and new stations will impress and deliver on promises by Boris Johnson and London's mayor that it will bring an estimated £42bn boost to the whole country.

Some have criticised the project as another example of bias towards the South East, while the North is left with slower and older train services between key cities.

Initial reactions to the Elizabeth line from the first commuters were mostly positive.

"These platforms are vast and sound adsorption works really well. Calm at Canary Wharf," tweeted Liam McGrath.

Callum Whyte called the escalators "mega" and said entering Whitechapel station "feels like entering a grand, cavernous underground cathedral".

"Last night 58min #abbeywood to bond St this morning less than 1/2 that time #elizabethline thankyou your majesty," posted Stanley Varty.

I think the new line will be excellent and it looks great. Doesn’t exactly help the criticisms of the UK as an acutely London-centric nation however.
Railway workers in the RMT union have voted in favour of National Strike Action across Network Rail and 15 train operating companies.

The strike ballot of National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers saw 89% vote in favour of a strike and 11% against.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said "members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies".

Some 71% of RMT's 40,000 members voted.

rmt is behind the times, gone are the days when transport strikes would cripple a city, there a minor inconvenience now, most people appreciate the chance to work from home anyway and can arrange their activities or schedule around the days which are not affected.

I think the new line will be excellent and it looks great. Doesn’t exactly help the criticisms of the UK as an acutely London-centric nation however.

also good to hear Elizabeth line finally getting going, should ease the hell that is the rush hour central line somewhat.

the UK is london centric, that balance wont budge until universities learn to monetise their research and development, decades ago the universities and their local authorities should have been working on setting up high tech industrial zones all over the country, and the gov shd have been staking private equity ventures to fund these companies.

but no one actually does anything and londons momentum takes it away from the rest of the country.
Liverpool FC fans travelling to France for the Champions League final and families going on holiday for half-term face long queues in Dover.

Thousands of fans went to the port in Kent on Friday to board ferries to Paris, ahead of Saturday's match against Real Madrid.

Ferries were extra busy and there were long queues to get into the port, with families travelling to the continent during the school holidays.

Liam Devlin, who was among those queuing in the port, wrote on Twitter: "Absolute chaos at the Port of Dover.

"Taking around three hours to get through to the gates to even board any ferry, double the amount of time they advise.

"No organisation whatsoever. Shambles."

Irish Ferries warned customers to expect delays of "up to three hours" through port security and check-in.

A further 155 flights were cancelled on Wednesday - as ministers were accused by a senior Tory MP of appearing to "blame" the industry for chaos at airports, despite airlines having to contend with "so many changes to the rules".

British Airways cancelled another 124 short-haul flights from Heathrow, saying passengers had been warned in advance, while easyJet dropped at least 31 flights from Gatwick to destinations including Bologna, Barcelona, Prague, Czech Republic, Krakow and Edinburgh.
Thousands of airline passengers are facing fresh disruption as widespread flight cancellations continue - with travel agents inundated with calls from customers worried the chaos will carry on and ruin their summer holidays.

EasyJet cancelled at least 35 flights on Tuesday, with Gatwick the worst affected airport, while Hungarian carrier Wizz Air axed at least seven flights due to serve UK airports.
Railway workers will strike for three days later this month and "shut down the system" according to a union boss, threatening travel chaos for commuters and those heading to major events including the Glastonbury festival.

The RMT said that up to 50,000 of its members across Network Rail, 13 train operators and on London Underground would walk out on 21 June in the "biggest outbreak of industrial action in the UK since 1989".

An estimated 40,000 rail workers - excluding the Tube members - would strike on 23 and 25 June, the union added.
Bus drivers in West Yorkshire are currently on an indefinite strike over pay.

UK infrastructure is slowly falling to bits. Lol
The Nationalised train operator in Scotland is cutting train services because of staff shortages and strikes.

They have told fans that are going to watch Scotland play today that unless they leave the game way before full time they wont be able to get a train home :))
Passengers at Heathrow will not face major disruption this summer despite an industry-wide international labour crisis that could take 18 months to resolve, the airport's chief executive has said.

It comes as Gatwick Airport announced it is limiting its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August to help passengers "experience a more reliable and better standard of service" after a review of its operations.

Travellers at airports across the UK faced significant disruption to flights during a chaotic half-term week culminating in the Jubilee weekend, sparking concern that summer holidays next month could bring similar delays.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow, told Sky News that Heathrow's passengers had faced only minor delays, and defended the industry against criticism of its failure to cope with the return of traveller demand after two years of COVID lockdowns.

He said: "We should not be surprised at the challenge faced by the aviation industry.

"For two years most politicians and the public were calling for borders to be closed and that has had a devastating effect.

"Across the sector, very skilled jobs have been lost and it does mean that as an industry we are having to recruit people back, train them up again to be able to serve passengers, and that just takes time.
Rail strikes to go ahead next week, union leaders confirm

Union leaders have confirmed that next week's rail and Tube strikes will go ahead after talks failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions.

The strike days are Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June - but Network rail has warned that disruption to services will impact the days in between strike days.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said it had held discussions in the past few weeks at senior levels with Network Rail, train operators and London Underground.

General secretary Mick Lynch said: "Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created."

<b>Rail strikes: Not for government to intervene - Shapps</b>

It is not for the government to intervene to stop rail strikes, the transport secretary has said - despite unions calling for talks.

Grant Shapps said the RMT union's request for a meeting was a "stunt" and the union was "determined to go on strike".

The union said politicians were failing to prevent its three days of industrial action next week.

Labour claimed ministers wanted the strikes to go ahead to "sow division".

Strikes will take place on almost all major lines across Britain on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as on the London Underground on Tuesday.

There will also be knock-on effects on services on non-strike days, including Monday.

Even rail companies whose workers are not striking will be affected, as Network Rail workers are taking action - and they look after tracks and other infrastructure.

A special timetable will be in place across England, Scotland and Wales from Monday until Sunday.

The RMT said on Saturday that talks between the union and Network Rail had failed.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme, the RMT's Mick Lynch claimed rail operators were refusing to sit down for discussions altogether.

And he said Network Rail, which is government-owned, was being influenced by ministers.

"It's Shapps, [Boris] Johnson and Rishi Sunak who are stopping a deal being done in this dispute," he said.

But Network Rail said the RMT were dismissing talks before they had finished.

Amid calls for ministers to step in, Mr Shapps said negotiations had to take place between unions and employers and accused the RMT of "trying to create some sort of class war".

"In any pay discussion, in any negotiation over terms, over in this case modernisation, it's always the employer and the union who need to get together to speak," he said.

Although most rail operators are not owned by the government, they are not entirely independent.

The government provides subsidies to the network - including £16bn to keep the railways running during the pandemic - and owns Network Rail.

Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group of operators, said it was clear the industry could not keep asking the taxpayer to fund it.

"Instead of striking, we need the RMT leadership to work with us to secure a deal that is fair to our staff, fair to our passengers and fair to taxpayers," he said.

Labour's shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy told BBC One's Sunday Morning show the government had got to "get round the table" with rail workers.

She said it was "simply not good enough" that ministers had not met unions since 8 March.

The RMT - which has 40,000 members across the rail network - has said its members are unhappy about stagnated pay and proposed job losses.

Mr Lynch denied the union was demanding a pay hike in line with the current RPI inflation rate - which was 11.1% in April - but said any proposed rise must reflect the higher cost of living.

He pointed out to Sky News that RPI in December, when he said a deal with Network Rail should have been struck, was 7.1%.

Mr Lynch earlier said the union had rejected a Network Rail offer of a 2% rise with a further 1% increase linked to job cuts. The RMT recently won an 8.4% pay rise on the London Underground, it said.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer used a speech at a Labour event in Warwick to suggest Mr Shapps and Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted the strikes to go ahead.

"They want the country to grind to a halt so they can feed off the division," he said.

Sir Keir said the strike would mean businesses would struggle with freight, schools exams would be hard to get to and hospital appointments would be missed.

"That's why I have said the strikes should not go ahead," he said.

Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Sarah Olney said of Mr Shapps: "Not bothering to avert a crisis is a sackable offence in any other workplace."

A Department for Transport spokesperson warned the railway industry was "still on life support" with passenger numbers down 25%.

They said train travel was now a choice - not a necessity - and strikes could risk losing customers in the future.

<b>The rail strike</b>

• When?
There will be rail strikes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and a London Underground Strike on Tuesday.

• Where?
Many lines will face disruption including: Avanti West Coast; C2C; Chiltern Railways; Cross Country Trains; Croydon Tramlink; Greater Anglia; LNER; East Midlands Railway; Elizabeth Line; Great Western Railway; Hull Trains; London Underground; Northern Trains; South Eastern Railway; South Western Railway; TransPennine Express; West Midlands Trains.

• Who?
The RMT union's members include everyone from guards and catering staff to signallers and track maintenance workers. Train driver members of the Aslef union will be striking on Thursday and 2 July on Greater Anglia and 28, 29 June and 13, 14 July on Croydon Tramlink.
A Cabinet minister has told Sky News he fears rail strikes will go ahead this week - and warned that workers must make sacrifices as the UK battles inflation.

Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that while the government was not the legal employer of union members due to walk out, they could not expect "inflation-busting pay increases".

"I fear it is likely that they [the strikes] will go ahead," said Mr Clarke. "Clearly we will continue to support the negotiations until such time is there's no more time to discuss.
While I am all for worker's rights, these unions should not be holding the public to ransom.

The knock on effect this week would be horrendous, and no doubt chip away on the monthly GDP figures!

Time to nationalise!
Seems like anytime the TFL employees or rail unions dont get what they want they decide to strike, only exaperates the public but hopefully will speed up the process for driverless trains which will then make most of these strikers redundant
Mr Shapps said the strike was "totally wrong" and would inconvenience millions - including those like his own daughter who are taking exams.

Last-ditch talks fail; Shapps says rail workers' salaries already 'reasonable' - travel latest

The action is the result of a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. The RMT is asking for a pay rise of 7% - lower than inflation but higher than that being offered by employers.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said latest offers from publicly-owned Network Rail and private train operating companies had been rejected. He suggested the employers' hands had been tied by ministers.

Mr Lynch blamed Mr Shapps for cutting billions of pounds in funding for public transport. The union also claims the government is trying to force through thousands of job cuts.

PM 'feeling well' after minor surgery; inflation means 'sacrifices' may be needed on public sector pay, says minister

"The fingerprints of Grant Shapps and the DNA of Rishi Sunak are all over the problems on the railway," he said.

Asked if industrial action could last for months if a deal is not reached, he added: "I think it will, yes."

But Mr Shapps said: "The crazy thing about this strike is it was called by the union bosses on false pretences that there would be no pay rises. That was never the case.

"They called a strike that will inconvenience millions this week. It's totally wrong, totally unfair."

'Ministers need to show leadership'

A Downing Street spokesperson said of the RMT announcement: "This is deeply disappointing. It's destructive that these self-defeating strikes will take place this week."

Boris Johnson described the strike as an "act of self-harm for rail workers".

"School children are at risk of exam disruption, commuters may have to forego their office once more, and families enjoying a summer's day in the city will no doubt face interruption," the prime minister told the Evening Standard.

Earlier, Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, warned that people should prepare for "very substantial disruption" as the start of strike action loomed.

But he said that the "evil of inflation" meant that workers were going to have accept below-inflation pay increases, showing "collective, society wide responsibility" and "sacrifice".

The strikes represent what some fear could be the start of months of industrial strife, with other workers including teachers also potentially taking action later this year.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union representing civil servants, said his union was balloting 150,000 members over action in September and teachers were also looking at possible strike ballots in the autumn.

He told Sky News: "We will see high levels of industrial action unless the government recognise that frontline public sector workers who kept the country running during the pandemic cannot be expected to have a 2% pay rise when inflation is forecast to be over 11%."

Labour's shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: "We want to see passengers avoid disruption but of course we understand and support rail workers rights to fight for a fair pay settlement."

Andrew Haines, Network Rail's chief executive, said: "No strike is inevitable until the moment it begins, but sadly disruption tomorrow is guaranteed so we're asking passengers to plan ahead and only travel by train if necessary."

A further flashpoint between the government and unions could come this week as the government moves forward with a plan to repeal a ban on agency workers being employed to step in for strikers.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Repealing these 1970s-era restrictions will give businesses the freedom to access skilled, temporary staff at short notice."

But the move was strongly resisted by unions.

It was also rejected by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, representing the recruitment agency sector, which issued a joint statement with the TUC calling for the "unworkable" plan to be abandoned.

They said at a time when vacancies stand at 1.3 million, a record high, agency workers picking jobs were very unlikely to choose a role that will involve crossing a picket line.

TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak said: "Just a few months ago Grant Shapps slammed P&O for replacing experienced workers with agency staff. But now he's proposing to do the same on railways."

The first of three national rail strikes this week is disrupting the journeys of millions of commuters across England, Scotland and Wales

Only 20% of trains are running after staff walked off the job at midnight. Many areas have no trains at all
Network Rail's boss tells the BBC he is "profoundly sorry" for the disruption

But PM Boris Johnson urges passengers "stay the course" because proposed reforms are in their interest

The action by members of the RMT union is over pay and redundancies - two more strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday

Some Labour MPs have joined picket lines in support, ignoring calls from party leadership to steer clear

London Underground workers have also gone on strike in a separate dispute over pensions and job losses

Millions of Britons are being hit by severe travel disruption, with only a fifth of train services running today due to the biggest national rail strike in 33 years.

Half of lines are closed - affecting large swathes of the UK and most of Scotland and Wales - with limited hours of 7.30am to 6.30pm for those that are open.

The strike is having an impact on roads, especially in London.

The congestion level in the capital has been 26 percentage points higher this morning than it was on previous Tuesdays, data from TomTom shows.

Congestion levels are the extra time drivers need to complete a journey compared to the time to travel the same distance with uncongested roads.

People travelling by car or buses in the capital between 6am and 10am have needed an average of 72% more time compared to the 45% extra time needed on average during the past three Tuesdays.

Travel time almost doubled in London between 8am and 9am.

The last time the congestion level in the capital was that high was during the last RMT union strike on 1 March, when journey time doubled, reaching an unprecedented high of 119%, TomTom says.

Brighton, Manchester and Bristol's roads have also noticed the impact of the strike, with congestion levels during the morning increasing over 10 percentage points.

Usually busy train stations such as London Euston were nearly deserted save for picket lines by union members.

Commuter Louis Cartwright-Walls turned up at Cardiff Station, hoping to get a train to Newport for a "vital" work meeting.

But the departure boards are empty.

"I looked online and it said some trains were running, but I knew that wouldn't be true," he told Sky News.

"I rely on the trains - I don't drive, this is my only transport.

"I'm going to have to pay for an Uber if nothing turns up. That's going to cost in excess of £40. But they'll up their prices, I'm sure."

At Birmingham New Street station, a few would-be passengers and commuters were trying to work out their travel plans.

After a six-hour flight from Egypt, Carol Hutchinson arrived in the UK to find her direct train from Birmingham International station cancelled.

She made her way to New Street and was waiting to board what appeared to be one of the few trains still running.

"I think it's going to be standing room only... I'm not even sure I'll get on with my suitcase," she said.

Pupils and parents also said they had to deal with the stress of making alternative plans for getting to school for A-level and GCSE exams today.

Some 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on Network Rail and 13 train operators are taking industrial action today after last-ditch talks failed to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions.

Network Rail has warned that the strikes - also set for Thursday and Saturday - will cause six days of disruption because of the knock-on effect on services on the days in between.

On days between the strikes, 60% of services will run.

London Underground workers are also on strike today, with most Transport for London services severely disrupted or not running until 8am tomorrow.

<b>Rail strike: Thursday walkout to go ahead as talks collapse</b>

The rail strike on Thursday will go ahead after talks between the RMT union and railway employers broke down.

The RMT accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of "wrecking" negotiations by refusing to allow Network Rail to withdraw redundancy threats.

Mr Shapps called the claim "a total lie", adding the union was solely to blame for the "massive disruption".

Millions were affected on Tuesday, the start of the largest strike in decades, and another walkout is due on Saturday.

A Network Rail source told the BBC there had been little progress in Wednesday's talks and, if anything, the union's position appeared to have hardened. No new pay offer was made.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers' union, said: "Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members.

"Until the government unshackle Network Rail and the train operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed."

He said the industrial action affecting services across Britain will continue until the union gets a deal giving job security and a pay rise that "deals with the escalating cost of living crisis".

Mr Shapps said he had no involvement in Network Rail's letter, adding that he understood it did not mention the 2,900 redundancies claimed by the RMT.

The Department of Transport has said the rail industry is leading the negotiations, but a contract seen by the BBC says that train operating companies' handling of strike action is "subject to the secretary of state's direction".

Speaking earlier today, Network Rail's chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said about 1,800 jobs were expected to be cut but the "the vast majority" would be through "voluntary severance and natural wastage".

The government-run rail infrastructure company is also asking the RMT to enter talks on "dumping outdated working practices and introducing new technology", he said.

The RMT is calling for a pay rise of at least 7% to offset the cost of living crisis, as inflation hits 9.1% and is forecast to reach 11% in the autumn.

Employers have offered a maximum of 3%, on condition that the union accepts new working practices.

But rail employers said they had suffered a loss of income, with passenger numbers only at 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operating companies, said it wanted to give "a fair deal on pay while taking no more than its fair share from taxpayers", which meant modernising the railway to attract passengers back.

Thursday's strike is set have a similar impact to the first day of industrial action, with half of the network closed and only 20% of services running. But Tuesday's Tube strike in London is not due to be repeated.

The second day of strikes will also coincide with a yellow Met Office weather warning for a thunderstorm across much of southern England, which could further hamper travel plans.

With 48 hours' notice, disruption on Saturday could be avoided if a deal is agreed, it is understood.

On Tuesday, the prime minister urged the country to "stay the course" and resist high pay rises, as the walkout by about 40,000 RMT members working for Network Rail left many parts of the country with no rail service at all.

Disruption continued on Wednesday, with only about 60% of normal services running.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson and the transport secretary of not "lifting a finger" to stop the strikes.

He told the Commons: "The prime minister of this country and his transport secretary haven't attended a single meeting, held a conversation or lifted a finger to stop these strikes...

"So rather than blame everyone else why doesn't he do his job, get round the table and get the trains running?”

Mr Johnson responded that the government was doing "everything we can to prevent these strikes" and it was up to the railway companies to negotiate.

He said 25 Labour MPs having joined picket lines to back strikers was "a disgrace" and accused Sir Keir of not having the "gumption to speak out against the rail strikes".

Meanwhile, the government is planning to introduce a new law this week to make it legal for employers to bring in agency staff to replace striking workers - but it will not impact the planned rail strikes on Thursday and Saturday.
A second day of industrial action looms as the transport secretary denies claims he "wrecked" strike talks - calling it a "total lie".

Rail workers will walk out today after Network Rail and the RMT union failed to make a breakthrough in negotiations to avoid a second day of industrial action this week.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch laid the blame at the door of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, saying he ruined talks by "not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members".

Mick Lynch the RMT leader is killing it on the telly interviews. Making monkeys out of interviewers and Tory MPs. They underestimated the working class bloke who came up on the tools.
Mick Lynch is a very impressive speaker.

Plus he strongly supports Brexit [MENTION=7774]Robert[/MENTION]. ;)
Mick Lynch is a very impressive speaker.

Plus he strongly supports Brexit [MENTION=7774]Robert[/MENTION]. ;)

He told his members to vote for a decision which has hurt them, but he is still impressive on telly,
Corbyn was spot on, time to re-nationalise our public transport; but no, the sheeple opposed Corbyn economic policies because of the MSM brainwashing.

You don’t know what you got until it is gone.
Corbyn was spot on, time to re-nationalise our public transport; but no, the sheeple opposed Corbyn economic policies because of the MSM brainwashing.

You don’t know what you got until it is gone.
Should never have been privatised. Been multiple providers effectively renationalised the last few years anyway. Beeching wrecked a British institution
Here's what really pees me off.

Every year TFL raise ticket prices in line with inflation (expect a rise in Jan), so begs the question, where is the extra cash spent? Salaries? If yes then why the strikes? Infrastructure investment? If yes then why is our transport service average in comparison to other nations? The best I have seen are USB port on buses.

Mayor of London has been an ABJECT failure - too busy eaving the rainbow flag and promoting liberalism!
Sadiq khan isn't responsible for the woes of public transport.

It's the tories who are continously cutting funds to these services including tfl. They have done the same with the police yet blame sadiq khan for the lawlessness in London.

They want people to give up driving yet at the same time are underfunding the rail and bus services.

It's racist public and right wing media who have lapped up the tory hysteria over brexit and immigrants they will happily have a tory government that will be hard on these issue like mickey mouse Rwanda scheme doesn't matter if they screw the rest enrich the toffs and make the poorer working classes poorer but the people will hate the eu and the boat people but love bojo.
Lets get real. TFL is not a government service but a private company. Therefore must not rely on government funding. At best TFL receives grants from the government and this has been going on since the days of Labour.

Mayor of London is to blame, he thought money is better spent creating pathetic cycle lanes, charging vehicles to enter London, and now the extension of ULEZ to out London.

Pathetic mayor. Boris was so much better.
<b>British Airways Heathrow staff back summer strikes over pay</b>

Hundreds of British Airways workers at Heathrow Airport have voted to go on strike over pay.

Unite and GMB union members who are mostly check-in staff backed industrial action on Thursday.

A total of 700 workers are set to strike during the summer holidays, when demand from travellers is expected to be near pre-pandemic levels.

The unions said the action was due to a 10% pay cut imposed during the peak of the pandemic not being reinstated.

Some 500 Unite members recorded a 94.7% vote in favour of industrial action, while 95% of GMB members backed the walkouts.

The strike dates will be confirmed in the coming days.

The proposed action relates to fewer than 50% of British Airways staff based at Heathrow in customer-facing roles only, and there are other customer service workers who have not been balloted.

It is understood that if strikes go ahead, BA, which operates from terminals three and five at Heathrow, has plans to cover staff, including managers potentially dealing with check-ins.

However, there would still be disruption for passengers, especially at terminal five, leading to cancellations, which would be focused on routes with several daily flights.

The GMB claimed that while other British Airways workers have been given a 10% bonus, "the check-in staff have had nothing".

BA said it was "extremely disappointed" with the result of the ballot.

"Despite the extremely challenging environment and losses of more than £4bn, we made an offer of a 10% payment which was accepted by the majority of other colleagues," a statement said.

The airline said it was committed to talks to "find a solution" with unions.

The BBC understands a 10% pay rise has been accepted by other parts of BA's business, including by ground operations, engineering and cabin crew workers, who are also represented by Unite and GMB.

Unite officer Russ Ball accused BA of having "insulted this workforce, slashing pay by 10% to restore it to managers but not to our members".

Mr Ball said the airline had a "short window of opportunity" to up workers' pay to pre-pandemic levels or face walkouts that would "inevitably cause severe disruption".

Meanwhile, Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said BA had "tried to offer our members crumbs from the table in the form of a 10% one-off bonus payment, but this doesn't cut the mustard".

"It's not too late to save the summer holidays - other BA workers have had their pay cuts reversed, do the same for ground and check in staff and this industrial action can be nipped in the bud," she added.

Downing Street urged both sides "to come together to find a settlement", adding that strike action "would only add to the misery being faced by passengers at airports".

A No 10 spokesman said the government expects BA "to put in place contingency measures to ensure that as little disruption is caused, and that where there is disruption that passengers can be refunded".

Tens of thousands of passengers have been hit by airport disruption and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

Hundreds of flights across the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and school half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised of further travel woes during the summer.

The disruption has been caused by several factors, but staff shortages have left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand for overseas travel.

Heathrow Airport has increased its annual passenger forecast once again.

The UK's largest airport says it expects 54.4 million passengers to travel through its terminals, up by nearly nine million on the guidance it gave in December.
Though not exactly public transport, BA staff should be grateful for a 10% increase despite the airline industry decimated.

If BA staff are not happy, go apply with Easy Jet, TUI, Ryan Air and Whiz Air.
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Should never have been privatised. Been multiple providers effectively renationalised the last few years anyway. Beeching wrecked a British institution

To be fair, British Rail was dreadful, with dirty trains always late and surly staff.

The service got better after privatisation.

But the EU states have really good public-owned networks because the governments put more taxpayers money into the railways.

So it could work here if properly funded. Parts of the South eastern and Scottish networks got taken back by Railtrack already.
Northern Rail has improved by a noticeable margin since the private companies running it were booted out due to underperformance and the franchise was acquired by the Government.

More frequent trains, newer stock, cleaner and longer carriages with extra seats, more staff, fully digitised ticketing.

Not a perfect service, and admittedly the bar was extremely low, but there has definitely been a positive enhancement.
<b>Rail strikes: Travellers hit by third day of disruption</b>

Rail passengers across Britain face severely restricted services as the strike enters its third day, with disruption expected over the weekend.

Despite continuing talks, no resolution has been reached in the dispute over job losses, pay and conditions.

People are being advised to only travel by train if necessary, with just one in five services running on Saturday.

Some 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union walked out on Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Some commuters were able to work from home on the first two strike days, but there are several big events in London over the weekend, including a sell-out Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park and Ed Sheeran at Wembley.

Several seaside destinations have no services, including Bournemouth, Blackpool, Margate, Llandudno, and Skegness.

No trains are running in Cornwall.

Services across England, Wales and Scotland are primarily restricted to main lines, and those are only open between 07:30 and 18:30 BST.

Passengers with pre-booked tickets for Saturday are able to travel on Sunday or Monday instead, or claim a refund.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is looking for a pay rise of at least 7% and assurances of no compulsory redundancies.

The union, whose members include everyone from guards and signallers to catering staff and cleaners, says an offer of a 2% pay rise, with the possibility of a further 1%, was "unacceptable", pointing to the rising cost of living.

Network Rail said it would consider a pay rise above 3%, but only if the union agreed to modernise working practices.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said members are "standing up for all working people trying to get a pay rise and some job security".

But, on the eve of the third walkout, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged the union not to "keep hamstringing the country", adding they should "agree a deal to bring our rail industry into the 21st Century".

Union bosses have warned more strikes are likely if a settlement cannot be reached.
Northern Rail has improved by a noticeable margin since the private companies running it were booted out due to underperformance and the franchise was acquired by the Government.

More frequent trains, newer stock, cleaner and longer carriages with extra seats, more staff, fully digitised ticketing.

Not a perfect service, and admittedly the bar was extremely low, but there has definitely been a positive enhancement.

Interesting to read.
Royal Mail managers have voted to strike in a dispute over what their union describes as an "ill-thought-out redeployment programme".

Members of the Unite union backed the industrial action by 86%, and by 89% in Northern Ireland.

Their ballot was a response to what the union says are plans to cut 542 frontline delivery managers' jobs, as well as implement a redeployment programme with worse terms and conditions.

About 2,400 managers at more than 1,000 delivery offices are involved in the dispute.

The strike dates have not yet been confirmed.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "It is no surprise at all that these workers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

"Make no mistake, Royal Mail is awash with cash - there is no need whatsoever to sack workers, drive down pay or pursue this ill-thought-out redeployment programme.

"These plans are all about boardroom greed and profiteering and nothing whatsoever to do with securing this vital public service.

'Ruinous path'

"Shareholders have been seizing the Royal Mail profits, while our members have been holding the service together. Enough is enough.

"Our Royal Mail members are guaranteed Unite's 100% support in any industrial action they take this summer to get the company off this ruinous path."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "We are disappointed by the announcement that Unite members have voted in favour of both industrial action and industrial action short of a strike, also known as work to rule.

"Unite have stated they will be informing us in due course in relation to the terms of any industrial action.

"Throughout the ballot process, Unite head office has misled members about additional job losses. This is not true. Unite has ignored our request to correct these claims.

"There are no grounds for industrial action. The extended consultation on these changes concluded earlier this year, and the restructuring is complete.

"We committed to protecting pay for all managers who stay with Royal Mail, and the vast majority will see an increase in their earnings.

"We allowed managers to request voluntary redundancy with a package of up to two years' salary, which was over-subscribed. We also made several concessions during the process, which Unite declined.

"The ballot covers around a third of our 6,000 managers and we have contingency plans in place to keep letters and parcels moving in the event of a strike."

'Only the beginning'

The workers would be the latest to head to the picket lines, as Britain faces a summer of disruption.

Last week the rail network was brought to a near standstill by its biggest strike in 30 years, and the TSSA union said on Wednesday its members in train station roles at Avanti West Coast had also voted to strike.

Avanti West Coast operates passenger services including trains from London Euston to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "The ballot result at Avanti is only the beginning.

"Our union is balloting members across almost another dozen train companies and Network Rail.

"If they had any sense they would come to the table and sort this out, so we have a fair settlement for workers."

A passenger bus slid off a mountain road and fell into a deep ravine in heavy rain in southwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing 19 people and injuring 12 others, a government official said.

Mahtab Shah, assistant administrator for the district of Shirani in Baluchistan province, said about 35 passengers were travelling in the bus. He said rescue workers were searching for survivors in the wreckage of the destroyed vehicle and surroundings.

Shah said apparently the bus slid on the wet road amid heavy rain and the driver lost control of the vehicle, which fell about 200 feet (61 meters) into the ravine.

Last month, 22 people were killed in a similar accident when a bus fell into a ravine in Qila Saifullah district.
<b>Rail strike: New walkout to take place on 27 July</b>

Railway workers are to stage a one-day strike on 27 July as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, the RMT union says.

It comes after thousands of train operator and Network Rail workers walked out during national strike action in June.

The strikes caused disruption for millions of commuters.

Earlier this week, Network Rail made workers a fresh pay offer it said was worth more than 5%.

But the offer depended on workers accepting "modernising reforms".

RMT leaders rejected the new offer from Network Rail, describing it as "paltry".

The union also said it would consult other unions with mandates for strike action in the coming days.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said Network Rail's offer would mean a real terms pay cut for workers, and RMT members would have to agree to "drastic changes" in their working lives.

"The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay," he added.

He said the dispute will continue "for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement".

But Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the union announcement was "incredibly frustrating" - "even more so" given the union hadn't put the latest pay offer to members.

Mr Haines added that the strikes "have clearly been designed to disrupt spectators heading to the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on 28 July, an event of huge national significance".

He added that Network Rail could only fund the increase in pay from its own budgets, and it would only have enough money to do that by "modernising" working practices.

"We urge the RMT to call this action off, get back round the table with us and show some willingness to compromise," he added.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the RMT was "hellbent on causing further misery for people across the country".

"It's clear now... that no deal was ever going to be good enough for the RMT," he said, accusing the union of planning "how best to cause further chaos.”

Mr Shapps said that the strike was "cynically timed" in order to disrupt the opening of the Commonwealth Games.

"The industry is already on life support and by insisting on working against its employers, instead of with them, the RMT risks pulling the plug for good," he added.

The strike is expected to include 40,000 workers - roughly 20,000 from Network Rail, including signalling and track maintenance workers, and the remainder from 14 train operating companies, which now include workers from Govia Thameslink.

One of the sticking points in the negotiations with the train operating companies is that they have declined to make a pay offer until talks on conditions have finished.

Earlier, union bosses and rail firms appeared before MPs to discuss strikes.
Eddie Dempsey, senior assistant general secretary at the RMT, told the transport committee that rail workers "are facing fire and rehire".

Mr Dempsey said that national strikes against low wages are going to happen.

"People across the economy - nurses, postal workers, rail workers - are all about to stand together and say we deserve a pay rise in this country - that uprising is coming."

Mike Whelan, from train drivers' union Aslef, provoked an angry response from MPs, when he called agency workers who may come in to work during a strike as "scabs".

He said: "Anyone that's employed scab labour, we'll look at them, as our employers, in a different way".

Mr Dempsey added: "I do regard people breaking strikes and crossing picket lines as scabs."

Train drivers are also gearing up for strike action over pay, but have yet to set dates.

Rail workers at Great Western Railway have also voted for industrial action.

Last month Britain's rail network was brought close to a standstill as tens of thousands of rail workers walked out in what unions said was the biggest rail strike in 30 years.

The RMT held three strikes over the course of a week, severely disrupting services across the country.

The union, whose members include everyone from guards and signallers to catering staff and cleaners, is looking for a pay rise of at least 7%.

So far the government has rejected the union's requests to negotiate with it directly.

Fuel price protests planned for Friday are threatening to unleash chaos on major roads as millions of families head off on their summer holidays.

Protesters plan to cause delays with "slow-moving roadblocks" on parts of the M4, M5, M32 and A38, police warned.
Busiest summer holiday getaway for years expected this weekend

Between today and Monday, an estimated 18.82m separate leisure trips are expected to be made across the country.

Traffic is set to peak tomorrow with 4.62m separate road trips but today and Sunday are also expected to be extremely busy with 4.29 trips each day, according to the RAC.

INRIX data suggests the M25 could see some of the worst jams, as well as stretches between Bromley and the Dartford Crossing, Maple Cross to the M3, and the M23 to the M40.

The A303 near Stonehenge, M4 between Cardiff and Newport and M5 south of Bristol are also likely to see queuing traffic.

Drivers are being urged by the RAC to plan well ahead and either start their journeys very early in the morning or later in the evening.

UK govt doing 'all it can' on Dover chaos

Graham Stuart, a minister in the Foreign Office, says the UK government is doing all it can to help people stuck in queues at the Port of Dover.

A critical incident was declared earlier this morning at the terminus.

Mr Stuart said the government was working with French authorities to improve the situation.

The problems are reported to be with French border workers located in Dover processing departures.

Mr Stuart said today's high volume of travel was foreseen, and three new processing booths were agreed upon. Two of these were up and running yesterday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been in contact with his French counterpart, Mr Stuart said.
Britain's travel chaos is already set to be worse than yesterday, with further delays at the Port Of Dover as the UK and France continue to argue over who is to blame for the gridlock.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: "As the schools closed their doors fully yesterday, Saturday could prove busier still this weekend.

"Drivers should continue to expect disruption and delays on major holiday routes to the southwest, eastern coast and ports of Dover and Folkestone."

Every Friday and Saturday of the school holidays are likely to be busy, he added, as holiday rentals begin and end on those days.

On Friday this year's summer of airline chaos expanded to include the Port Of Dover, with people waiting in six-hour queues to cross the Channel and officials blaming increased border requirements after Brexit.