These are the West Midlands motorways seeing heavy traffic during the train strikes

Traffic is building on motorways across the country following the RMT strikes

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The recent train strikes are currently causing ‘significant disruption’ on motorways surrounding Birmingham.

According to live navigation and live traffic specialists Waze, the company is currently seeing ‘heavy traffic throughout major thoroughfares across the UK’ such as the M42 due to the strikes.

The news comes with another train strike set to take place up and down the country including the West Midlands on Saturday (20 August). During the strike in Birmingham on Thursday (18 August) there were only 10 departures per hour from New Street Station whereas normally 40 trains depart on average, and passengers are once again being advised to only travel if “absolutely necessary” on Saturday.

The M42 junction 6 near SolihullThe M42 junction 6 near Solihull
The M42 junction 6 near Solihull

Are motorways busier than usual around Birmingham?

They are indeed. According to Waze, the M5 in and M6 have both seen heavy traffic during the rail strikes.

Heavy traffic has ben reported on the M5 from West Bromwich to Walsall, as well as the M6, from Nechells towards Bromford. Heavy traffic has also been reported on the M42.

A spokeswoman for Waze, said: “Itooks like the M5 and M6 are the most impacted by the rail strike this morning (19 August). The Waze live map is currently showing heavy traffic on the M5 from West Bromwich to Walsall, with reported speeds of 11 mph, and moderate traffic on the M6, from Nechells towards Bromford with reported speeds of 29 mph.”

Drivers are also being advised to prepare for slower journeys this weekend.

Ru Roberts of sat-nav firm Waze,said: “Due to the RMT strikes the UK’s motorways have been hit by significant disruption, specifically surrounding main cities such as London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

“We’re currently seeing heavy traffic throughout major thoroughfares such as the M42, with reported speeds of 12mph, as well as surrounding main Underground stations including Edgware and Brixton, with speeds as low as 3mph. Amid summer holiday traffic, we advise drivers, especially those travelling to and from Premier League fixtures, to prepare for slower journeys, check all routing options before setting off and take regular breaks on long journeys.”

Mick Lynch, General Secretary of RMTMick Lynch, General Secretary of RMT
Mick Lynch, General Secretary of RMT

What has the RMT said about more strikes?

RMT union members are striking at trains around the country on Thursday and this Saturday (20 August). Only about 20% of Britain’s rail network will be open on the days of the strike but with limited service from around 07:30 to 18:30, announced Network Rail.

Disruption is also expected on19 August and 21 August due to the knock-on effect.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), has called on the Government to end its stance of refusing to get involved in talks over pay, jobs and conditions. He joined a picket line outside Euston station in London as only around one in five trains were running across the country because of the walkout by members of the RMT and TSSA unions.

Mr Lynch has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, saying: “Your government has made the decision to use taxpayers’ money to bail out private train companies from being liable for revenue lost because of industrial action on the condition the same companies comply with government instructions to hold down pay, cut thousands of safety critical rail jobs, introduce driver only trains and close ticket offices across the network.”

Mr Lynch said the union had calculated that, including the previous and forthcoming industrial action, more than £120 million of taxpayers’ money had been used to “bail out” private train companies to date.

He told the PA news agency: “Using taxpayers’ money to satisfy the anti-union agenda of the Tory party and seek to break the trade unions is shameful and means the dispute will be prolonged indefinitely as the train companies don’t lose a penny as a result of the industrial action and therefore have no incentive to settle the disputes.

“Instead of waging an ideological war against rail workers, millions of voters would rather that the Government allow for a fair negotiated settlement.”

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