Commuters are suffering fresh travel chaos today (July 27) as thousands of rail workers walk out on strike, crippling services across the country.

Disputes in the bitter row over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions are worsening, with more strikes due in the coming days, and a wave of industrial action planned next month on the railways and London Underground.

Many passengers turning up at stations are unaware of the strike.

Yesterday it was announced that members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) will launch co-ordinated strikes on August 18 and 20, while the RMT announced a strike on the London Underground on August 19.

Only around one in five trains are running on Wednesday, on around half the network, with some areas having no trains all day.

Picket lines were mounted outside railway stations as members of the RMT union at Network Rail and 14 train operators went on strike.

Passengers were urged to only travel by train if they must, and, if it is necessary, to allow extra time and check when their last train will depart.

Trains will also be disrupted on Thursday morning with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said union members are more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.

“Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new,” he said.

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.”

Mr Shapps said in his three years as transport secretary there has not been a single day when unions have not been in dispute by threatening or taking industrial action, with around 60 separate disputes in 2022 alone.

He said: “Today, union bosses are once again trying to cause as much disruption as possible to the day-to-day lives of millions of hardworking people around the country.

“What’s more, it has been cynically timed to disrupt the start of the Commonwealth Games and crucial Euro 2022 semi-finals, in a deliberate bid to impact the travel of thousands trying to attend events the whole country is looking forward to.”