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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-07-04

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Non Grand National race goers urged to plan their journeys ahead of rail strike

PEOPLE planning on getting out and about, on Saturday, 8 April 2017, are being urged to consider their travel options ahead of a rail strike affecting both Merseyrail and Northern services.

Timetables for both operators have had to be greatly revised and reduced as guard members of the RMT union walk out in a 2nd 1 day strike in relation to on train staffing.

Merseyrail has had to assume that train drivers will refuse to cross RMT's picket lines, as happened on the 1st strike day, on 13 March 2017.

The limited Merseyrail services that will be running are focussed on getting people to and from the Grand National, so people who aren't going to Aintree are being warned that the network is likely to be very busy and people on the City Line are advised to check before they travel if they usually use Northern services.

The City Region's extensive bus network is being recommended as an alternative transport option.

People who are intending to travel further afield will still be able to get mainline services as other operators will be unaffected by the Industrial action.

Said Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel:- "The RMT have effectively put us in a no win situation. In taking the difficult decision to prioritise services to get people to and from 1 of the biggest events on Merseyside and within the City Region; 1 that is enjoyed locally and globally, means that unfortunately we have no choice but to disadvantage other people getting to work over the weekend or wanting to enjoy their weekends. We are trying to limit the disruption as far as possible, such as working with operators to strengthen bus services and by ensuring people have the help and guidance they need in considering their other options.  We are 100% convinced that these new trains will be safer than the ones they replace in every way. They will transform people's travel, not least that they will be a game changer for people who currently have to be assisted on and off."

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail's managing director, added:- "The timetable we are running is designed to get as many people as possible safely to the City Region's most popular event of the year. We realise that this means reduced or no train services on other parts of the network, and we apologise for non race goers who may not be able to take the train that day or whose journeys will be less straightforward.  Whether the RMT likes it or not, new trains will be brought in over the next few years. They will be safer and more secure, and our network overall will remain one of the most generously staffed in the country. As well as continuing to staff City Region stations throughout the times trains are running, roles will be created to work on board the new trains, concentrating on customers' safety, security and comfort."

»  Key advice if you're travelling other than to get to the Grand National:-

►  There will be limited Merseyrail services focussed on getting people to and from Aintree for the Grand National. These services are likely to be very busy.

►  There will be mainline rail services in and out of the City Region, but services run by Northern will be reduced and run to a revised timetable.

►  Affected rail services will start later and finish earlier. Don't be caught out.
Leave longer for your journey.

►  You may want to consider other public transport options. There is an extensive bus network across the City Region

►  Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the City Centre and around Aintree.

►  Full details of Merseyrail services and rail replacement buses are on the Merseyrail website and on posters at all stations.

►  For the latest on Northern services visit:- NationalRail.Co.UK or NorthernRailway.Co.UK.

For more travel options and advice visit by calling Merseytravel if you need more help in planning your journeys on:- 0151 236 7676.

Summary of Merseyrail services for non race goers:-

►  Trains running between Liverpool City Centre and Hooton mid-morning till around 20.00, with no services for a few hours in the afternoon.

►  Trains running between Liverpool City Centre and West Kirby mid morning till around 20.00, with no services for a few hours in the afternoon.

►  No trains to New Brighton.

►  No trains between Hooton and Chester and Hooton and Ellesmere Port.

►  No trains between Liverpool City Centre and Hunts Cross.

►  Very few train trains between Liverpool City Centre and Southport.

►  No trains to Kirkby.

►  No trains between Aintree and Ormskirk.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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