Northern issues 'Do not travel' advice during week of strike action by RMT union

Northern Trains is asking customers not to travel on its services between June 21-26 because of industrial action by the RMT union.

By Dominic Brown
Friday, 17th June 2022, 6:00 am

The whole of the rail network is affected by strikes, planned for Tuesday, June 21; Thursday, June 23; and Saturday, June 25.

Northern is currently working with Network Rail to agree what services it can run, with the industry prioritising essential routes on mainlines and routes in to major cities.

Therefore, the train operator is expecting to run a very limited timetable and is suggesting customers do not travel on the strike dates and, wherever possible, not to travel on those in-between as well.

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A Northern train

Customers should try to find alternative transport if their journey is essential.

Details of the services able to run will be released as soon as possible to customers. They are advised to visit northernrailway.co.uk/travel/strikes for the latest advice and information.

The timing of the strike action has a knock-on effect on the days in-between with disruption of operations, the displacement of their trains across the network and shift patterns.

In response to the RMT announcing strikes, Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “Our ability to get customers where they want to be will be significantly impacted and our advice, regrettably, is simply not to travel during the week of strike action.

One of TPE's Nova trains

“We apologise in advance for the disruption and inconvenience that the RMT’s industrial action may cause.

"We continue to be keen to speak to the RMT to find a resolution and avoid any strikes.”

TransPennine Express (TPE) is calling on its customers to think carefully about their travel options and to only make essential journeys during the planned strike action.

TPE is warning the very few services it is able to run each day will be extremely busy. There will also be significant disruption to services on days either side of the strike action.

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director at TransPennine Express, said: “Due to the RMT action we will only be able to operate around 10 per cent of our usual daily services.

"Alongside other operators, we simply won’t be able to provide journeys for the tens of thousands of customers who would normally rely on us and any services we are able to run will be extremely busy.

“Therefore, we’re asking our customers to think carefully about their travel across the whole of next week and to only make essential journeys by rail.

"People should, where possible, consider alternative modes of transport.”

On the days of RMT strike action, TPE will operate a small number of services on just four routes (Newcastle – Edinburgh, Sheffield – Cleethorpes, Manchester Airport – Preston and Manchester Piccadilly – York), with the vast majority of its managed stations closed with no rail or replacement service available for customers.

Kathryn added: “We will do all we can to provide the best possible service for our customers, but with the limited timetable and trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual we need all our customers to plan essential journeys carefully.

“It’s extremely disappointing that RMT has chosen to take strike action which will not only cause significant disruption for our customers, but will also damage the recovery of the rail industry.

“Like many other industries, rail is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic and the latest strikes – which follow almost five months of industrial action by RMT – only serve to put this recovery at risk.

“We remain open for talks with the union, but any talks must be realistic, affordable and take into account the context of the environment in which the rail industry is now operating.”

Customers who need to make essential journeys should visit the TPE website (www.tpexpress.co.uk) or National Rail Enquiries for the latest timetables and information.

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