`

Northern to cancel nearly half of trains on latest strike days

A Northern train at a station in the North East. Picture by David Sherrington.
A Northern train at a station in the North East. Picture by David Sherrington.

Northern has released its revised timetables for the three upcoming days of RMT strike action, when nearly half of its services will have to be cancelled.

The majority of trains will run between 7am and 7pm and the rail firm ‘aims to run around 1,350 services each day across the north of England, equating to more than 50 per cent of the normal timetable’.

It also expects all services to be extremely busy, especially in the morning and evening peak periods.

Members of the rail union will walk out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (January 12) in the long-running dispute over the role of guards and its general secretary has said that the ‘opportunity to make progress in talks has been kicked into touch’ by the company.

Replacement bus services will be running on the routes where trains are not available.

Sharon Keith, regional director at Northern, said: “We are doing all we can to keep our customers on the move and are focussing on running as many trains as possible between 7am and 7pm to get people to work and home again.

“Between these hours we will run more than 60 per cent of our normal weekday timetable.

“We ask everyone to take time to plan their journeys carefully, allow extra time for travel and regularly check for service updates on our website.”

The company has arranged ticket acceptance on a number of other train operators to help Northern customers with Advance Purchase tickets for these three days.

The participating operators include Virgin Trains East Coast, Cross Country, TransPennine Express and Grand Central.

Customers who have an advance ticket with a Northern origin or destination station, where the firm offers the connection using another train operator’s service, and want to travel on a different date than is printed on their ticket, can travel on:

• Sunday 7 or Tuesday 9 for tickets dated Monday, January 8.

• Tuesday 9 or Thursday 11 for tickets dated Wednesday, January 10.

• Thursday 11 or Saturday 13 for tickets dated Friday, January 12.

The participating operators for this include Cross Country, TransPennine Express and Grand Central.

In relation to the strike, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are angry and frustrated that yet again a genuine opportunity to make progress in talks has been kicked into touch by the pig-headed and intransigent attitude of Arriva Rail North, which simply wants its staff to surrender to their demands to axe guards from half their trains regardless of the safety consequences.

“RMT was prepared to enter into a serious discussion around operational models similar to agreements reached in Wales and Scotland, but the door was slammed in our faces.

“This dispute is about putting public safety before private profit and that is the message we will be sending out on the picket lines from Monday.”

Ms Keith said: “Northern is still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the next eight years if we can reach an agreement with RMT on how our colleagues can deliver better customer service.

“The Government has also guaranteed the employment of conductors beyond 2025 and into the next franchise if RMT ends its dispute.”

Customers who experience delays of 30 minutes or more on strike days can claim compensation through Northern’s Delay Repay scheme.

Those with season tickets that don’t include buses, trams or ferries, who decide not to travel due to strike action, can also claim compensation.

Claims can be made using the Delay Repay process on Northern’s website or by collecting a form at any staffed station.

The revised timetables can be found online at www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike