The transport secretary has denied a union’s declare that he “wrecked” strike talks, saying it’s a “complete lie”.

Rail staff will stroll out on Thursday after Community Rail and the RMT union didn’t make a breakthrough in negotiations to keep away from a second day of commercial motion this week.

RMT basic secretary Mick Lynch laid the blame on the door of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, saying he ruined talks by “not permitting Community Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for two,900 of our members”.

Mr Lynch mentioned disruption would proceed till the union secures a deal that “delivers job safety and a pay rise for our members that offers with the escalating cost-of-living disaster”.

Mr Shapps mentioned the RMT’s declare was a “complete lie” and he had “nothing to do” with withdrawing the letter in query.

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Second day of strike motion looms

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He mentioned: “I perceive that the letter makes no point out of two,900 redundancies, however I do comprehend it confirmed Community Rail could be introducing desperately wanted reforms for the business after the union selected strike motion as a substitute of additional talks.

“The RMT continues to deflect from the truth that the one individuals liable for the large public disruption this week is them.

“I wish to urge Mick Lynch and his members to cease losing time making false claims within the media and as a substitute return to the negotiating desk so an settlement might be reached.”

No strike motion was held on Wednesday, however companies had been nonetheless severely disrupted throughout the railways and London Underground, with trains having to be repositioned all through the day.

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There was relief for those travelling to Glastonbury Festival in Somerset although, with common companies working to Fort Cary close to the location all day, and site visitors seemingly flowing freely to Worthy Farm.

Some 13 prepare operators will see RMT members stroll out once more on Thursday, in addition to Aslef-affiliated prepare drivers for Better Anglia, inflicting but extra disruption on railways with solely a handful of companies working up and down the nation.

Community Rail mentioned talks with the RMT “by no means actually acquired began” on Wednesday, with the organisation anticipating extra to proceed into Thursday.

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A passenger runs to catch a train at Waterloo station on the first day of the rail strike

Community Rail managing director Tim Shoveller informed Sky Information: “We had been ready for the RMT till 12.30 and once they arrived, we had a number of discussions round even having the ability to have a dialog in order that we might transfer ahead and make the subsequent stage of the supply we needed to do – these had been fully pissed off by the RMT’s incapacity to speak.

“They requested us to take away the letter that we despatched to them beforehand and we have been by that with them to clarify that that letter is just not materials to the discussions we’re having as we speak, and that we needed to proceed with the discussions, and so they refused to do this.

“They’re now asserting we’re being managed in a roundabout way and that is a crimson herring.”

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