Northern says ‘do not travel’ as West Yorkshire braces itself for rail strikes next week
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The two 48-hour walk-outs RMT, which will take place on December 13-14 and December 16-17, coupled with the knock-on impact on Thursday December 15 in between the strikes, means an effective five-day travel ban for rail users.
During this period, all but a handful of services will be cancelled – and the vast majority of the train operator’s 500+ stations will be closed.
Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “This is the last thing we want to do in the run-up to Christmas, but with the RMT pressing ahead with these 48-hour strikes, we have no option but to advise customers not to travel. We can only apologise once again for the disruption their action will cause.”
The unions are in dispute with the government and rail companies about pay, job cuts and changes to terms and conditions.
Unions say any pay offer should reflect the rising cost of living.
The pandemic left a hole in the rail industry’s finances and it is under pressure to save momney.
Network Rail is planning to cut 1,900 jobs.
It says insists most of this could be achieved by people leaving voluntarily.
But the RMT wants a guarantee of no compulsory job losses.
Routes affecting West Yorkshire that will have services running next wek – hourly between 7.30am and 6.30pm – include:
Leeds to Sheffield via Wakefield Westgate
Leeds to York via Micklefield
Leeds to Bradford Forster Square
Leeds to Skipton
Leeds to Ilkley
Liverpool to Manchester Airport
Customers should check before they travel if planning to use one of these skeleton services.
Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the north of England.
On Sunday, December 11 Northern’s new timetable comes into effect and all customers, especially those who have made regular journeys on the same train times, are advised to check online journey planners before they travel to ensure their service operates at the same time and calls at the same stations.