Okehampton residents have faced severe disruption this week as a result of rail strikes and icy weather conditions causing bus cancellations.

Rail passengers were forced to find alternative travel arrangements on Tuesday (December 13) as the Dartmoor Line service was cancelled due to Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union strikes in protest against the latest Network Rail pay rise offer.

Furthermore, Okehampton College students have struggled to get to school as buses were cancelled as a result of poor weather conditions.

RMT members also striked on Wednesday (December 14) but Great Western Railway (GWR), which runs the line, confirmed that the Dartmoor Line would be open though passengers are set to face further disruptions this Friday (December 16), as the RMT will carry out another strike.

The BBC has reported that further rail strikes have also been organised for the Christmas period and early January as part of the months-long battle in which rail workers are demanding better pay and working conditions. Most recently, RMT members rejected an offer from Network Rail which could have seen rail workers’ salaries rise by five percent this year and four percent in 2023.

The Office for National Statistics has estimated that on average rail workers currently earn nearly £46,000 a year.

Though RMT members will not strike on Saturday (December 17), GWR has advised passengers to check whether their train will run as there could be some cancellations or alterations to the timetable.

Some teenagers were unable to catch the bus to school on Monday and Tuesday as the icy weather forced bus companies to close routes OKE007, OKE013, OKE014, OKE001, OKE011 and OKE044, while routes OKE017, OKE018 and OKE003 were unable to service all stops.