UNION members formed a picket line to the entrance of Skipton Railway Station on Tuesday as the nation saw the first of three days of strikes take place this week. Other strikes were due today, Thursday, and on Saturday, June 25.Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators have walked out in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Daren Ireland, regional RMT organiser said: “Everyone continues to be resolute in what we are asking for and hope commuters stay behind us in our negotiations. We want commuters to understand that what we are trying for is reasonable. The spirit among our members in Skipton is fantastic.
“The Government is dictating what can be negotiated and wants mass redundancies, worsening pension provision including raising the pension age by three years, a longer working week and modernisation including closure of ticket offices.
“They have offered a two per cent wage rise with an additional one percent as long as we accept wholesale changes to terms of employment. This is not acceptable to our members. They are detrimental changes.
Mr Ireland added: “There will be a disruption to services, but we have been trying to negotiate with the Government for the past 18 months. If they hadn’t dictated what we can negotiate this would have been resolved much sooner.”
Half of Britain’s rail lines will be closed during next week’s strikes, Network Rail said.
Steve Montgomery, who chairs industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes will affect the millions of people who use the train each day, including key workers, students with exams, those who cannot work from home, holidaymakers and those attending important business and leisure events.
“Working with Network Rail, our plan is to keep as many services running as possible, but significant disruption will be inevitable and some parts of the network will not have a service, so passengers should plan their journeys carefully and check their train times.”

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail managing director for the North West and Central region, said: “The service that we can offer to passengers in the mornings is going to be very limited.
“Even on the intermediate days we won’t be able to operate anything like a full service with the normal amount of capacity or frequency of trains.
“That’s what gives rise to effectively six days of disruption.”
Train operator Northern urged passengers “not to travel” between Tuesday and Sunday.