A MUM has told how she faces a 180-mile drive to get her sons to school for their GCSE exams during the rail strike.
Rail workers are walking out on June 21, 23 and 25 in a row over pay – threatening to bring Britain to a standstill.
During this time, Marta Kotlarek’s sons Jacob, 15 and Michael, 18, are taking their GCSEs and A-levels.
They usually take the train to school from Flint to Ysgol Eirias in Wales.
But now, on top of the stress of the first summer exams in three years after Covid disruption pupils and teachers who travel by train are also contending with a rail strike.
Marta said she hopes she will only have to drive her sons on the 60-mile round-trip from their home in Holywell to Ysgol Eirias for the main three days of the strike but fears it could be longer.
She “We will leave at 7.30am to make sure they are there in time for their exams,”
“They normally take the train from Flint which takes 20 minutes. We are lucky because we have a car. I worry about families who don’t have a car.
“We live in Holywell so it’s a 60-mile journey there and back to the school.
“We are also expecting extra traffic because of the strike. It’s an added stress during exams.
“I am lucky enough to have a car but what happens to people who don’t?
“I know the WJEC has processes if a child misses an exam but I am worried for children whose families don’t have cars.”
Marta said driving will also be an added cost because her children usually use season tickets and petrol prices have rocketed.
She said: “I haven’t really worked it out but it will cost between £50 and £70.”
More than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to take part in the strike.
Transport for Wales (TfW) is not one of the operators in dispute with the RMT but has warned services here will be seriously disrupted.
A TfW spokesman said: “The industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means we will be unable to operate our rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.
“The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in south Wales.
“There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action. We will release more information as soon as possible.
“Customers with existing tickets for travel from Monday, June 20, to Sunday, June 26, can use those tickets anytime between now and June 20. Alternatively customers may claim a full refund.
“In the meantime we are suspending sales of advance tickets for the first three strike dates to minimise the number of people disrupted. Customers should continue to check our website, and the websites of other operators, for updates.”
The RMT has also announced another 24-hour strike on London Underground on June 21 in a separate row over jobs and pensions.
Source: The Sun