Rail staff set to strike in driver only train row

An Arriva train
An Arriva train
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Rail services to Blackpool could be severely disrupted as members of the RMT union strike over the introduction of driver only operation (DOO).

The Gazette revealed last year that Northern Rail, owned by Arriva which is in turn a subsidiary of German state rail operator Deutsche Bahn, had committed to running 50 per cent of trains as driver only by the end of its franchise term. RMT members will walk out on Monday March 13 as they oppose the changes.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety-critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.”

Mr Cash said bosses from both Northern had failed to guarantee that guards would be kept on trains.

A spokesman for Northern said: “It is a shame that RMT has announced strike action for Monday March 13.

“Our aim is to reach a constructive resolution and we urge RMT to continue the talks we have already started.

“If strike action goes ahead, our customers can be reassured that we have plans in place to keep them moving. We plan to run a revised service.

See also: Rail closures ahead