Rail workers strike amid worsening driver-only trains dispute

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Rail workers will go on strike again on Sunday as part of worsening disputes over the role of guards and driver-only trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Merseyrail will walk out for 48 hours, disrupting services in and around Liverpool.

The strike will hit music fans going to the city's Fusion Festival.

The union is calling for the Transport Department to join talks about staffing arrangements on new trains.

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director at Merseyrail, said: "The RMT union is continuing its campaign against the staffing arrangements for the new trains and, once again, it will be passengers who are inconvenienced by this action.

"With none of our permanent guards being forced to leave Merseyrail, these strikes are unnecessary.

"The new trains will be modern, safer, faster and more reliable than the ones they replace, with the capacity to support economic growth.

"They will still have staff on board and Merseyrail will continue to be one of the most generouslystaffed rail networks in the country."

RMT
The RMT is calling for the Transport Department to join talks about staffing
arrangements on new trains (Charlotte Ball/PA)

RMT members on Southern and Arriva Rail North will also strike on Monday in similar disputes.

The union is also balloting workers on the new South Western Railway franchise for industrial action after saying it has not received assurances about the role of guards.

The company said it will have a second member of staff on trains and will be recruiting extra guards and drivers.