TRAIN strikes across Ryedale have brought services to a halt.

Today marks the first day of the largest railway strikes in Britain for 30 years.

The RMT transport union announced that strikes will take place today (June 21), Thursday (June 23) and on Saturday (June 25).

Trains are running with reduced timetables in place and of the few trains that are running there is little space on board.

Currently all trains between Malton and York today are sold out, and there is just one train every two hours on the line.

There are also travel disruptions expected throughout the week due to limited staff working.

TransPennine Express (TPE), who operate trains across Ryedale, has called on customers to only make essential journeys during the strike, and use alternative transport if possible.

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director at TransPennine Express said: “Due to the RMT action we will only be able to operate around 10 per cent of our usual daily services. Alongside other operators, we simply won’t be able to provide journeys for the tens of thousands of customers who would normally rely on us and any services we are able to run will be extremely busy.

“Therefore, we’re asking our customers to think carefully about their travel across the whole of next week and to only make essential journeys by rail. People should, where possible, consider alternative modes of transport.”

Railway staff are striking over jobs, pay and conditions after union leaders failed to reach an agreement with train bosses over pay rises.

Kathryn O’Brien said: “We will do all we can to provide the best possible service for our customers, but with the limited timetable and trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual we need all our customers to plan essential journeys carefully.

“It’s extremely disappointing that RMT has chosen to take strike action which will not only cause significant disruption for our customers, but will also damage the recovery of the rail industry.

“Like many other industries, rail is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic and the latest strikes – which follow almost five months of industrial action by RMT – only serve to put this recovery at risk.”

Anyone planning journeys should check timetables carefully, up to the last minute, as there is potential for delays and further cancellations.

There will be further changes such as bikes not being permitted onboard train services, including TPE services on strike days.

The major online train journey planner, National Rail Enquire, has also stopped working today as services are crippled due to strike.

It is unclear what is causing the problem, but it could be due to a surge in demand.

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