Metro timetable disruption expected to continue, despite cancellation of planned RMT national rail strikes expected to affect the Tyne and Wear travel network
The cancellation of planned national rail strikes has come too late to avoid disruption on the Tyne and Wear Metro, according to network bosses.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) had been due to walk out on Saturday, November 5; Monday, November 7; and Wednesday, November 9, in an ongoing row over pay, jobs and conditions.
However the workers’ group confirmed on Friday (November 4) it had called off the industrial action after securing “unconditional” talks on Network Rail (NR) and the promise of a pay offer from the train operating companies.
Bu the latest development in the long-running dispute has not been enough to avoid impacting schedules on the Metro.
Metro operator Nexus had previously said services running between Pelaw and South Hylton would be cancelled on strike days as they use stretches of track which are part of the national rail network owned and managed by Network Rail.
If Network Rail does not have enough staff to operate signals, then train services cannot run.
The timetable disruption was also expected to hit schedules on non-strike days.
In a tweet following the RMT’s announcement, Metro bosses said: “Due to the late notice of the RMT strikes being called off we still won’t be able to operate between Pelaw and South Hylton tomorrow, Sat 5 Nov.
“We are doing everything we can to reinstate services on the Sunderland line next week and will keep you informed in the coming days.”
The union has insisted in the meantime the dispute remains “very much live”, raising the prospect of more strike disruption.