Members of the RMT Union and their supporters gathered at High Wycombe Railway Station on Wednesday amid a 24-hour strike over jobs, pay and conditions.

Armed with flags and posters at the picket line outside the station, Rail, Maritime and Transport union members explained why they had walked out. 

One member slammed the "misleading, anti-strike statements" that have been made in the media, saying they are not just striking for a wage rise. 

They said: "There are serious issues that concern rail workers and rail users, we are concerned about rail safety, 'Fire and Rehire' practices, pensions.

"Plus the technology they have introduced is not working. At the most simple level, we have all tried and been frustrated by the electronic passenger ticket booking system.

"The Department of Transport, government minister Grant Snapps and rail companies are deliberately ignoring these concerns and consistently refused to address them or communicate with us about these points.

"We are grateful that we have strong and articulate RMT Union General Secretary, Mick Lynch, who is getting these massages to the public via mass media."

A row broke out between unions and the Transport Secretary Mr Shapps after he laid out plans to curb industrial action, including stopping coordinated industrial action, limiting picketing, and having a cooling off period after strikes.

Aslef has announced that drivers at nine rail companies are also to stage a one-day strike on Saturday August 13, saying the firms failed to make a pay offer to help members keep pace with increases in the cost of living - although Chiltern Railways is not one of the companies involved. 

A supporter and local resident who headed to High Wycombe Railway Station on Wednesday to join the workers on the picket line, said: "It is good to support striking workers. Railway workers for example have not had a pay rise in three years. Where is the justice in that?

"All workers have the right and deserve a good standard of life."

Only around one in five trains ran on Wednesday, with some areas having no services at all.

On the Chiltern line, no trains were running north of Banbury or to/from Oxford station due to a severe lack of staff.

There was one train per hour in both directions between London Marylebone and each of Aylesbury via High Wycombe; Banbury; and Oxford Parkway.

The same frequency was in place between Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Amersham.

Talks resumed on Thursday but there is little sign of the deadlock being broken.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “Strikes are always the last resort.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport, too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the government.”