Strike action and engineering work set to cause disruption to Sheffield's rail network over next two weekends

Continued strike action and engineering work is set to cause disruption to Sheffield’s railway network over the next two weekends.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:55 am
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 8:55 am

Engineering work by Network Rail will mean there are no TransPennine Express (TPE) services between Stockport and Sheffield and between Sheffield and Doncaster this Sunday (May 29).

The rail operator said those making essential trips between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield should also allow extra time, because trains will need to operate via a different route, with journeys taking up to 30 minutes longer.

This comes as continued strike action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is also set to cause major disruption to train services across the North and into Scotland this Sunday, May 29.

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Engineering work by Network Rail will mean there are no TransPennine Express (TPE) services between Stockport and Sheffield and between Sheffield and Doncaster this Sunday (May 29). Picture courtesy of TPE

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, said: “Ongoing strike action by RMT continues to disrupt people’s journeys, right across our network.

“We are asking anyone planning a journey by rail on Sunday to avoid travel where possible and only travel if they absolutely have to.

“Anyone going to an event, such as the Liverpool FC victory parade in Liverpool, is urged to seek alternative transport.”

A TPE spokesperson added that only a ‘small number of trains’ will be running on Sunday, and it is ‘strongly recommending that customers avoid travel on their services and instead, make their journey the day before or after’.

Further action by the RMT is also planned over the Jubilee weekend, on both Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, and the TPE spokesperson said bikes will not be permitted onboard TPE services on strike days.

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On Tuesday, May 24, the RMT announced that its members had voted ‘overwhelmingly in favour of strike action’ across Network Rail and the train operating companies, in what the trade union described as the ‘biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation’.

40,000 members were balloted in Network Rail and the train operating companies, and of the 71 per cent who voted, 89 per cent said they were in favour of strike action in a dispute ‘over pay, jobs and safety’.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our NEC will now meet to discuss a timetable for strike action from mid-June, but we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a reasonable settlement with the RMT.”

He added: “The overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union's approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies.”

Cross Country, East Midland Railway (EMR), Northern and TPE are among the train companies who voted for strike action.

There is also set to be disruption on EMR’s services this weekend, with the operator urging people travelling between Nottingham and London to plan ahead and leave extra time.

The additional demand is likely because play-off finals at Wembley on Saturday and Sunday both feature teams on the East Midlands Railway network; namely Mansfield Town, who will play Port Vale in the League Two Play-Off Final on Saturday, and on Sunday, Nottingham Forest will face Huddersfield Town in the Championship Play-Off Final

An EMR spokesperson said it is operating a full timetable on both days and will have extra staff on hand at key stations.

"In addition, services will be strengthened with additional carriages where possible to help provide extra capacity on both Saturday and Sunday,” they added.

Anyone travelling on the affected rail services should visit: www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk and tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/strike for the most up-to-date information.