TAUNTON railway station has been left deserted on the first of three days of rail strikes taking place this week. 

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union working for Network Rail and 13 train operators are taking industrial action today and on Thursday and Saturday. 

Around 40,000 workers have gone on strike over pay and job losses, meaning just 20 per cent of trains are running today. 

Much of Britain will have no passenger trains for the entire day, including most of Scotland and Wales, the whole of Cornwall and Dorset, and places such as Chester, Hull, Lincoln, and Worcester.

Great Western Railway, which serves Taunton and other Somerset stations, has said around 30 per cent of its services will run on strike days. 

Around half of its services will be affected on non-strike days “due to the timing of the strike action.”

Addressing his Cabinet today, Boris Johnson described the strikes as “wrong and so unnecessary” and pointed out that the Government “supported the railway industry to the tune of £16 billion” during the pandemic.


Read more: LIVE - Train strikes cause major disruption across Somerset and UK 

Read more: Glastonbury ticketholders search for solutions to ‘stressful’ rail disruption


He believes there needs to be “reform in the way the railways work”, adding: “It cannot be right that some ticket office are selling roughly one ticket per hour. 

“We need to get those staff out from behind plate glass, on to the platforms, interacting with passengers.”

The strikes are also affecting some ticketholders on their way to Somerset to attend Glastonbury Festival.

Here is how Taunton railway station looked at around 11:30am:

Somerset County Gazette: The main entrance to the railway station was empty just before midday. Pictures: Tom LeamanThe main entrance to the railway station was empty just before midday. Pictures: Tom Leaman

Somerset County Gazette: A GWR employee and several empty taxis were visible.A GWR employee and several empty taxis were visible.

Somerset County Gazette: The station foyer was also empty when a County Gazette reporter was there.The station foyer was also empty when a County Gazette reporter was there.

Somerset County Gazette: This is how Kilkenny Car Park looked.This is how Kilkenny Car Park looked.