Rail travel came to halt across Powys on Tuesday (June 21) as rail workers went on strike across the country.

The strike began after there was a failure to agree a deal between Network Rail and the RMT Union. The union has asked for a seven per cent pay rise to keep up with inflation and wants issues surrounding health and safety to be addressed.

The government has said savings need to be made in the sector so that fares stay low for the public and so that various areas of the industry can be modernised.

MP for Montgomeryshire, Craig Williams, condemned the strikes in the House of Commons on Monday and called on Labour politicians to join him.

He said: “It is sad that the Labour Front Bench team will not condemn the strikes that are happening tomorrow, but in Wales, Labour is going further and denying their existence.

“In my constituency, which I assure the House is in Wales, there are no strikes tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday—Labour is calling them “travel disruption”. I ask the Secretary of State not to forget about Wales and to make sure that we get the trains running again. When is a strike not a strike?”

MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, Faye Jones, said in a statement: "I am really disappointed that talks to prevent these strikes broke down. When union leaders flat out ‘refuse to negotiate with a Tory Government’, the only ones who lose are the ordinary people trying to go about their day.

"The Government wants to negotiate a package of reforms which delivers sustainable, growing railway, where every rail worker receives a decent annual pay rise.

"But this strike is not about pay, it is about outdated unions opposing progress—progress that will secure the railway’s future. It is a huge shame that the unions are standing in the way of this progress.”

Pickets by the RMT took place at Machynlleth Station on Tuesday morning and the local Cambrian branch said on their Facebook page that “some people striking will be left struggling financially but are still determined to make a stand because they believe in a better future.”

The disruption to travel is set to continue for the rest of this week and those we spoke to in Machynlleth had very mixed views on the strike.

Kate Jones, whose husband is currently in need of care, said: “Sometimes I’ve got to use the train to go and visit, and now he’s in Shrewsbury. I drive but if I can’t I’ve got to use the train. Well, it’s worrying when someone is poorly and you can’t get to them.”

Sienna Holmes she understood the motivation of the strikes, adding: “I think it’s important that people are able to be paid for their work in an appropriate manner. I understand that it’s a bit of an inconvenience but it’s not difficult to rearrange plans.

And Sheila Simpson said she approved of the strike because “it is a way people can when there is difficulty in the work situation but I think the problem is with strikes is that they’re very harsh and it hurts other people.

"Maybe you strike Italian style from 10am to 2pm not five days in a row- it makes the point but it doesn’t hurt people too much.”