Grant Shapps Mick Whelan city Birmingham Citi Target Parke Grant Shapps Mick Whelan city Birmingham

Rail strikes leave Commonwealth Games city with almost no trains

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Rail strikes brought fresh misery for millions across the country on Saturday, including major disruption to Birmingham as it hosted one of the busiest days of the Commonwealth Games.The latest round of strikes during a summer of chaos for passengers prompted bitter exchanges between union leaders and ministers.As thousands of train drivers from seven operators, including West Midlands Trains and Southeastern, walked out over pay, vast stretches of the rail network in England and Wales were left with no services.It also meant that there were no trains in England’s second biggest city apart from a “special shuttle” between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International to help people reach Commonwealth Games events.With frustration evident on both sides, Aslef accused transport secretary Grant Shapps of lying about negotiations over this summer’s rail strikes.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “We’re not dragging our feet in negotiations; we negotiate with 14 private companies.

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