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SNCF: strike will have little impact

The French rail operator says 97 per cent of services should run normally despite the walkout by members of CGT union

A PUBLIC transport strike planned for Tuesday will have little impact on rail services, according to estimates from the SNCF.

The French rail operator says 97 per cent of services should run normally despite the walkout by members of the CGT trade union.

It expects TGV and Intercité long-distance rail services to run normally.

Some TER trains might be affected. The SNCF says the strike should be mostly confined to a small number of towns including Tarbes, Béziers, Agen, Orleans and the suburbs of Marseille.

In the Paris region, the RATP is expecting a near-normal services on metros, buses, tramways and RER suburban trains.

The CGT has called the industrial action from 19.00 on Monday. Striking transport workers will demonstrate outside the Gare Montparnasse in the capital at 14.00 on Tuesday, before heading to the transport ministry.

The union says that opening up some transport sectors to competition would “reduce safety levels” and lead to widespread job losses – while the chase for “lowest-cost” services would lead to an inevitable reduction in services for travellers.

Reforms planned for the rail network were denounced as “weakening the SNCF, leading to line closures, ticket offices shut and the loss of ticket inspectors on TER services”.

It also attacked the abandonment of the écotaxe on freight transport saying it would have “heavy consequences for financing road infrastructures, already in danger because of state indifference”.

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