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Grand Central expected to withdraw services

SPECULATION is growing that Grand Central is about to become the second open access operator to suspend its services. Hull Trains has already withdrawn its timetable until further notice.

According to the RMT and other sources, the last Grand Central trains will run today.

The services between London, Bradford and Sunderland are understood to be the latest victims of falling passenger numbers caused by the coronavirus emergency. Long distance coach operators have also announced that their services will be withdrawn by the end of Sunday, although Megabus will continue to run in Scotland.

Meanwhile, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘RMT is frankly appalled that Grand Central is not intending to make up the full wages of the staff who are being stood down and is instead intending to just pay the 80 per cent covered by the Government scheme.

‘Arriva can afford to make up the 20 per cent difference and that is what we are calling on them to do.

‘There are nearly 250 hard working rail staff caught in the crossfire of the Grand Central service suspension plan. RMT’s preference was for those workers to be kept operational in an arrangement between the DfT and the company which would have kept trains running. If that isn’t possible the very least we expect is for their wages to be covered in full.’

Although Grand Central has yet to comment, Railnews has been told that a statement is due within hours.

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