Commuters on brink of massive headache as gridlock warning issued for Thursday

Rail strikes: Commuters warned of gridlock

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Rail strikes have led to concerns over gridlocks on the roads as commuters take to their cars. Updated traffic advice has been issued from the National Traffic Centre amid the largest rail strike for a generation with severe disruption on Tuesday, with more chaos expected as thousands flock to Glastonbury Festival in Somerset on Thursday. 

Sky News’s Becky Johnson provided an update from National Traffic Centre, saying: “One thing they are looking ahead to is Glastonbury later on this week could cause some congestion in the south of the country.

“Now it’s been quiet today, the warning now is don’t everybody try to get your cars when we’ve got the strikes later in the week because that would then bring in that congestion.”

It comes as figures published by location technology firm TomTom showed the level of road congestion at 11am was higher than the same time last week in several cities.

In London, congestion levels increased from 38 percent on June 14 to 51 percent today.

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Other locations with worse traffic included Cardiff (from 24 percent to 29 percent), Liverpool (from 24 percent to 30 percent), Manchester (from 27 percent to 34 percent) and Newcastle (from 18 percent to 20percent).

The figures represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flowing conditions.

There were also severe queues on outer London sections of the M1, M4, A4 and A40.

People trying to travel around the capital faced long queues for buses.

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Strikes are also planned for Thursday and Saturday.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is considering possible disciplinary action after several of his party’s MPs joined picket lines outside stations.

He reportedly ordered frontbenchers not to do that as the Conservatives have sought to use the row to claim Labour is on the side of striking workers who have caused chaos.

Pupils and parents were being urged to make an alternative plan for getting to school for A-level and GCSE exams.

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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch warned that the dispute could continue for months.

The union has been asked by Network Rail to attend formal consultation talks next month on introducing “modern working practices”.

Network Rail official Tim Shoveller said the changes will mean “dumping outdated working practices and introducing new technology”.

He added: “We expect this will reduce roles by around 1,800, the vast majority of which will be lost through voluntary severance and natural wastage.”

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