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Kirstin Innes: Striking rail workers are looking out for passengers as well as themselves

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Today, I was supposed to be heading out to a writing retreat in Snowdonia in Wales.

I’m on my fourth book now, and I know myself as a writer – I find it very hard to get a start on a big piece of work without a clean mental break.

This particular retreat is run by the organisation Mothers Who Write, meaning it was specifically designed as a caring break for mothers, with meals provided, writing feedback sessions offered, and absolutely no responsibilities beyond getting the work done.

I’d applied for the funding to go in January, booked my place in February, saved up to cover the final payment, arranged wrap-around childcare to support my husband, and booked a flight to Birmingham (trying to find the shortest possible way of travelling to Snowdonia and back without leaving my children for any additional days).

Last week, my flight was cancelled; both EasyJet and Ryanair’s bosses have gone on record this month to say that this will happen more and more due to airport staff shortages related to Brexit. I braced myself for the bigger spend of train travel but, due to this week’s well-publicised rail strikes, there was not a single ticket from anywhere in Scotland to Birmingham or Wolverhampton (the other connecting station) available.

I booked a bus from Glasgow to Birmingham that would require an additional overnight stay the........

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