RMT strike hits 270000 commuters on Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North

Crowds at Manchester Piccadilly

Train staff at Merseyrail and Northern Rail have gone on strike today as their fight to stop around 200 job changes continues.

The Southern franchise has been hit by a series of strikes in recent months, but Monday's industrial action also involves the Merseyrail and Northern networks.

Northern ran around 40 per cent of trains during yesterday's walkout after asking passengers to leave plenty of time for their journeys and only travel if necessary.

RMT members at Arrive Trains North in Yorkshire, plus Southern Railway and Merseyrail, were striking in a row over proposed changes to staffing as new trains are introduced.

A Southern spokesperson said: "We've made it clear to the RMT that we'll meet with them if they confirm they will not call any further industrial action".

Angie Doll, Southern's passenger services director, said: "We have shown that we can now run nearly all our services during an RMT strike".

RMT general secretary Mick Cash says the response on the ground has been "wholly positive".

Many routes across the region are set to be disrupted as part of the walkout after transport union the RMT's ballot saw rail guards voted overwhelmingly in favour.

Up to 2,000 workers at three rail companies will go on strike.

The early-day motion reads: 'That this House welcomes the fact that Northern Rail passengers are now guaranteed a safety-critical train guard on board every Northern Rail train to assist in protecting the safety of the train and passengers, provide advice and assistance and allow disabled passengers to embark and disembark at unstaffed stations'.

A spokesman told the Guardian Southern has drafted in staff from elsewhere in the business to work as contingency on-board supervisors and conductors.

Northern Rail have issued a revised timetable and Transdev are running more buses on the 36 service to Leeds.

"We work with industry and passenger groups to improve the service all passengers receive, this includes taking enforcement action where we consider it is in passengers' best interests".

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