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Exhibitions go ahead despite rail disruption

by Emily Wallin

Exhibitions are going ahead this week despite widespread disruption caused by the RMT strikes.

Three national rail strikes this week are expected to affect the journeys of millions of commuters across England, Scotland and Wales. Only 20% of trains are running after staff walked off the job at midnight and many areas have no trains at all.

Transport for London (TfL) warned against travel on Tuesday, 21 June, as Tube workers launched a strike to coincide with the first day of national industrial action.

However many events are going ahead despite the predicted disruption.

Visitors at Infosecurity Europe were undeterred.

The UK’s biggest cyber security event opened its today (21 Jun) and organisers RX were hopeful that the event would not be too badly affected.

A spokeswoman said: “The show floor is already awash with activity and exhibitors and speakers are poised for a jam packed first day.

“As we understand it, the strikes should not affect access to ExCeL London during Infosecurity Europe: the Elizabeth Line, DLR, London Bus Network and some overground services will be running as normal across the strike days, and the London Underground will be operating as usual on 23rd.

“However, we are recommending visitors plan their travel in advance, and keep an eye on rail schedules – especially if travelling in from further afield.

“We will of course closely monitor the news, and ongoing talks between the unions, train operators and government and keep attendees updated.”

Other shows going ahead this week include Global Offshore Wind,  at Manchester Central  and ABTT Theatre Show  at Alexandra Palace.

The Art and Antiques Fair, European Pizza and Pasta Show and Spirit of Summer are all being held at Olympia London this week.

The venue advised visitors that “planned strikes don’t directly affect Southern and overground services to Kensington (Olympia) station”, but recommended checking for updates from National Rail.

The NEC is hosting six shows this week including the  Installer Show, Higher Education Exhibition, The Big Bang Fair and The Creative Craft Show.

Ian Taylor, managing director, conventions and exhibitions at NEC Group, said: “We always focus on providing an excellent visitor experience for those coming to the NEC Campus. If there are issues linked to transport around our venue we work closely with event organisers to highlight alternative options. We are lucky to have a large site, with 16,500 car parking spaces. We will be encouraging our visitors to use vehicles or alternative modes of transport to reach the site in the absence of trains.”

A Manchester Central spokesperson said: “We’re working closely with organisers and our partners to provide support in mitigating disruption as much as possible, during the period of planned strikes.”

The action by members of the RMT union is over pay and redundancies – two more strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday, but passengers have been warned that knock on delays and cancellations should be expected throughout the week.

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