Industrial strike action forces train operator to provide alternate timetable

Train operator Northern has announced a timetable for train services set to run during three days of industrial strike action.

The RMT has staged several walkouts over the driver only plans
The RMT has staged several walkouts over the driver only plans

Northern expects to run - on average - more than 40 per cent of rail services across the three days including Saturday, July 8, Sunday, July 9, and Monday, July 10.

The industrial action has been organised by the Rail Maritime Transport union over the future role of guards, concerns over driver-only operations and safety concerns.

However, Northern aims to run more than 40per cent of its services during the industrial action supplemented by additional rail replacement buses.

A Northern train

On Saturday and Monday, the majority of services will run between 7am and 7pm, though many routes will start to wind down from late afternoon.

On Sunday, most services will operate between 9am and 5pm.

All services are expected to be extremely busy and Northern is asking customers to allow extra time for journeys, plan carefully and consider whether travel is necessary.

Sharon Keith, Regional Director for Northern, said: “Being able to run more than 40 per cent of services, supplemented by the extra rail replacement buses, means we will be able to keep the north of England on the move.

A Northern train

“Our amended timetables have been developed to provide the best possible cover across the three days and to try to best meet the needs of our leisure customers at the weekend and commuters on Monday.

“We have worked to prioritise services on our busiest routes, at the busiest times of day. But we expect all services to be busy and ask our customers to plan ahead accordingly.”

Full details of the revised timetables – together with rail replacement bus schedules – and supporting information for customers can be found on the Northern website.

Northern will have people out across the network during the coming week to assist customers and answer any questions.

Information will also be displayed on posters at all stations across the Northern network and on customer information screens where available.

Richard Allan, Northern’s deputy managing director, said: “We are deeply disappointed and hugely frustrated that RMT is choosing to cause more pain for our colleagues and customers rather than get round the table to talk first.

“Only this week we wrote to RMT again, urging them to engage in meaningful modernisation talks with us.

“We have been clear that for all our conductors we are prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay, and continue with annual pay reviews, if we can reach agreement with RMT.

“The RMT’s dispute will be solved by talking, not by unnecessary strike action which impacts our customers, our employees, businesses and the economy of the north.

“Should the RMT strike action go ahead, we are committed to keeping our customers on the move as much as possible.”