TRAIN operators across Yorkshire have urged commuters not to travel on railway strike days.

Today (June 21) marks the first day of the largest railway strike in Britain in 30 years.

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

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 Malton train station is completely closed, with one train running every two hours.

Those travelling by rail are asked to check timetables up to the last minute, as there is potential for delays and further cancellations.

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.

“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.”

Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton said the strikes ares "deeply frustrating for those affected, especially given the government's financial interventions kept trains running through the pandemic."

He said: "Both in my work on the treasury select committee and in parliament more generally, I have consistently raised the issue of cost of living to ministers and appreciate the difficulties many are facing.

"While taxpayers continue to foot the bill, I support the position that the government cannot bend to union demands for huge pay increases, thereby fuel inflation. On top of this, the private workforce would not see the same increase.

"It is disappointing that the unions are threatening industrial action before engaging in meaningful talks to try and find a resolution."

Disruptions are set to continue tomorrow (June 22) as railways continue to operate with fewer staff members.

Only around 60% of the 20,000 normal weekday services will be able to operate.

Overnight walkouts by signallers and control room staff will mean trains will not leave depots until 6am-6.30am, rather than between 3am-4am as they usually do.

This is expected to cause delays of up to four hours in some areas. 

Network Rail told PA media that “even during the day the service will stay thinner” than usual.