Hexham Courant readers share their experiences and thoughts about the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) three-day national strike.

Here is what they had to say about one of the biggest disputes on the network since 1989 with over 50,000 railway workers walking out.

Hexham resident Sheena Moore said: "Yes, I have been affected but I don’t mind because I support the strike wholeheartedly.

Agreeing with Sheena, Jim Beaver also adds: "I have also been affected but I think the strikes are a great thing.

"I wholeheartedly support the rail worker's strike and hope that it starts a fire under the rest of the country. It's time we ended it."

Those who commute by driving have also noticed the effect of the strikes, as Ken Wright saw himself.

He said: "Yes, I have been affected! I had a much easier drive up from Portsmouth to Hexham last week. Although it wasn't a notified 'strike day' and I think the trains were running, the roads were much quieter.

"I reckon many people decided either to take the week off and go to the beach or pretend to work from home. Whatever the reason, it made my day a better one."

Other workers such as Lucy Boaden were affected by the strike and had to turn to other means of transport but have found it to be more expensive.

She said: "I had a train fare return from Haydon Bridge to Hexham which was £4 but when I used the bus, the fare was £6.40 return. It's a big difference.

"However I do stand behind the strikers!"

Northern Rail, which operates the North East's regional network, issued a 'do not travel' notice for the duration of the strikes as there was an impact on the number of services that can operate on the non-strike days during the period.

Stephanie father found that she had been affected by the strike but found the train tickets to be more expensive.

She said: "I booked tickets for my daughter & Grandaughter to visit about two months ago.

"It was a four-hour journey to visit family here and a new baby.

"The train was canceled last minute. Luckily, I was able to book another one, but it arrived very late and cost over twice as much.

"It was awful as it was the worry of not knowing if it will actually run. I won’t be in a hurry to use trains again.

Other residents show their support but speak about what has caused the strike.

One theory of the strike is that it is believed that Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe.

Readers also think the strikes are the time to use other transport to help them continue to run.

John Doherty said: "It’s the government who are at fault. They should pay them what they deserve to be paid just like carers should have been paid during the pandemic "I also think that if your train is canceled then people should use the bus it’s cheaper and the bus company needs the revenue.

Annette Wicks also adds her opinion about the strike, saying: "It’s not just about the pay, it’s also about the safety of the Infrastructure and keeping the workers and public safe "I think instead of wasting millions on HO2, could have spent it elsewhere."