KEIGHLEY and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has condemned planned rail strikes, and called on rail unions to scrap their proposed industrial action.

Strike action is planned across the country for 21, 23 and 25 June, with large parts of the national network closed, with the actions covering all 14 rail operators and Network Rail. This includes local train operator Northern, who has advised would-be passengers to not travel from Tuesday 21 June to Sunday 26 June.

Particular concern regards the fact that strike action will coincide with local school and college exams including A Levels and other public examinations, with many students in Keighley and Ilkley relying on trains to get to and from their exams.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has condemned the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) and their planed action, citing the “unacceptable effect on working people" and harm it will do to the economy.

Robbie Moore MP said: “I am extremely concerned about the potential effects of these strikes. They will cause major disruption to my constituents who rely on these services every day, with many left unsure how they will be able to go about their day-to-day business.

"Many of my constituents do not have the fall-back option of home working on strike days, and therefore will either not be able to travel to work, or have to find other means at a higher cost. Likewise our tourist sector and independent businesses will be impacted. The unions must seriously consider this before proceeding with these strikes.

"Of course, we are also in the busy exam period, and many students in Keighley and Ilkley take trains to get to school, college or university. They are taking extremely important exams, and it is mindless for those striking to put them in such a situation where they have to even wonder how they will even be able to do these exams. It is disappointing, but perhaps unsurprising that Labour failed to condemn these strikes this week in Parliament.”