THE largest train strike for more than 30 years begins today with journeys to and from Stroud severely disrupted.

Stroud railway station was deserted this morning as a result of industrial action by the RMT union severely affecting services from today to June 25.

The dispute is over pay, conditions and job security, with unions complaining that railway staff who worked through the pandemic are facing job cuts, a pay freeze and attacks on employment conditions.

On strike days, June 21, 23 and 25, only 30 percent  of GWR services will be operating and people are being warned to expect severe disruption and to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary.

A map produced by Great Western Railway shows that there will be no trains running in Stroud as a result of the three days of industrial action.

Motorists are also being warned to expect a surge in traffic as train passengers switch to road transport during the strikes.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said: “We want a transport system that operates for the benefit of the people, for the needs of society and our environment – not for private profit.

“Every worker in Britain deserves a pay rise that reflects the cost-of-living crises. All working people should have the benefit of good negotiated terms, conditions, working practices and occupational pensions that will ensure their living standards in retirement.”

Steve Montgomery, chair of 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.”