UK rail passengers are facing a further three days of strike action this week following walk-outs over safety disputes.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Northern, Merseyrail, South Western Railways and Greater Anglia are on strike Monday, Wednesday and Friday over a dispute about several issues, including the role of train guards.

Members on Southern also staged a 24-hour walk-out on Monday.

RMT said the walk-outs are a response to safety disputes, including the potential for rail companies to extend the use of driver-only trains, which it claims puts passengers in danger.

Northern says it will attempt to operate more than 60 per cent of scheduled services between 0700 and 1900 on strike days and advises passengers that trains will be busier than usual as a result. Merseyrail is also planning to run a normal service between 0700 and 1900, but says tickets will not be accepted on local buses in the event of a cancellation “to prevent overcrowding”.

Meanwhile, South Western Railway has released a revised timetable, with some services being replaced by buses. Greater Anglia says it will operate a normal service using replacement staff, and Southern claims most services will operate as usual.

The strikes come amid rumours that current transport secretary Chris Grayling could be appointed to a new role as Tory chairman in a cabinet reshuffle expected later today.

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