Commenting on further strike action by the RMT union planned for July, Babs Murphy, CEO of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber said:
“Over the past 18 months the North has made great strides in securing significant investment, which has started to unlock our region’s growth potential, and includes modernising and upgrading our transport networks. We welcome the investment that rail operator, Northern, is making to modernise the region’s railways. This year has already seen the introduction of the first 10 refurbished trains and the start of a programme to upgrade stations, while in 2018 our region will benefit from new trains.
“With transport, economic growth and future investment being so closely linked, it is vital that Northern continues to engage with businesses and everyone across the region to shape their plans and make them happen.
“With ongoing economic challenges and opportunities across the North, our region can ill-afford a period of further disruption caused by union strike action on our railways. While it is apparent that the RMT trade union and the train company are currently in different positions, with no immediate solution likely, the slow pace of talks must be accelerated.
“We therefore call on the RMT to recognise the economic benefits and improvements for passengers that a modernised railway will bring to our region. The business community across the North West urges both parties to get back round the table quickly to avoid further disruptive strikes. It is clear to everyone, especially the business community, that this frustrating and damaging dispute must be concluded.”