Bolton commuters are expected to continue facing wide scale disruption as strike actions continue tomorrow (Thursday 23).

It comes as union members went on strike yesterday (Tuesday June 21) in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators walked out.

It is thought to be the biggest outbreak of industrial action on the railways for a generation, with just one in five trains running on strike days, mainly on main lines and only for about 11 hours.

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said: "The rail strikes are a last resort – Labour and the RMT wanted to avoid this and instead get around the table to negotiate a pay increase and avoid the turmoil.

"There is only one body which wants the strike, and that is the Government.

"Grant Shapps has refused to seriously address the concerns of the unions and the rail workforce (which spans cleaners, guards, platform staff, and drivers), instead hoping to sew division and slander an entire workforce who are fighting for a fair pay rise.”

The Bolton News: Commuters arriving to find that no services are operatingCommuters arriving to find that no services are operating

On the other hand, Bolton West MP Chris Green said: "The railways have received significant taxpayer subsidies for decades and during the pandemic we gave another £16bn to keep the railways going and all of the staff in secure employment.

"As we carry on our recovery and return to normal, I am appalled that, when people need to get to work, have hospital appointment or even use the train to get to school, the union barons, supported by Labour, do not have the gratitude I believe they owe the British people."

On Tuesday there were no trains running at all from Bolton Interchange.

This resulted in several commuters continuing to arrive, unaware that there are no trains running.

One train user said: "I wish someone would make it clear that there are no trains."

In some cases some people even brought tickets for today (Wednesday June 22) thinking that it was for Tuesday when no trains were running.

This also meant that a number of commuters were unable to find alternative routes to their destination.

Although, others went to see if they could get a bus or a taxi instead.

One customer showed The Bolton News her Northern Rail app, where it showed times for Tuesday, although it said tickets were unavailable to buy. 

The Bolton News: Northern Rail app shown by passengerNorthern Rail app shown by passenger

The chaos will continue on Wednesday, with only 60 per cent of the 20,000 normal weekday services running, mainly due to a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff are not doing overnight shifts.

The process of taking trains out of depots will only begin when signallers on daytime shifts start work at 6-6.30am.

No passenger services will run before 6.30am.

Strike action is expected to take place on Thursday, and Saturday this week.