A NORTH Hampshire MP has described the upcming railway strikes as 'plain wrong' as he conves a cross-government meeting to navigate response over the next 48 hours.

Speaking before the planned railway strike this week, Kit Malthouse MP said: “Sadly, the people of Andover and Basingstoke will have to endure yet more travel disruption thanks to union strike action, and they should not travel by rail unless absolutely necessary. I know this means many will find it difficult to get to work or attend appointments.

“Through my new Cabinet Office role, I am convening a cross-government meeting to make sure departments are coordinated and ready, measures are in place so we can keep moving, and that big events such as this week’s Commonwealth Games open smoothly.

“These strikes are plain wrong, and the unions should call them off. The railway is run on rules put in place in the 1950s, and the likes of the RMT are doing their best to cling on to this. The system needs to modernise and run in the interests of passengers; the unions need to get back to the table with their employers and agree a way forward.”

READ MORE: Hampshire rail strikes: What you need to know if travelling by train this week

Hampshire rail users have been advised to only travel "if absolutely necessary" on Wednesday and Thursday (July 27 and 28), as rail strikes are set to take place.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train operators are set to walk out.

Train companies such as South Western Railway, Southern and Cross Country, which operate in Hampshire, will be running very limited services on the main day of the strikes (Wednesday, July 27).

Services that do run will start late and finish early with lines open from around 7.30am until 6.30pm and last trains leaving considerably earlier than that. 

Passengers should also expect disruption on the morning of Thursday, July 28, with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

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