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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2018-06-01

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Rail strikes in January 2018, so plan your journey ahead

PASSENGERS travelling to, from and within the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of planned industrial action by members of the RMT union on Merseyrail and Northern rail services, on Monday, 8 January, Wednesday, 10 January and Friday, 12 January 2018.

Merseyrail services are planned to run every 30 minutes, with the exception of the New Brighton to Liverpool services which will be every hour, from around 06:30 to 19:30, with a break in service between approximately 11:00 and 13:30.

Wirral services will start and terminate from James Street Station.

There will be no services on the following lines:- Hunts Cross - Liverpool Central; Ellesmere Port - Hooton; Chester - Hooton, Kirkby - Liverpool Central and Ormskirk - Maghull.

Merseyrail tickets will be accepted on Arriva bus services, except between 07:00 to 09:00 and 16:00-18:00.

Passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and on Twitter @Merseyrail, before travelling, as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.

Northern Rail will operate a reduced service, with the majority of available trains operating between 07:00 and 19:00. Services on some routes will finish earlier and some Stations will have no service, for more information please visit the Northern website.

Mersey Ferries are due to run as planned and valid cross river rail tickets will be accepted on the Ferries on the 3 days.

Key advice for everyone in the City Region needing to travel on these dates is:-

► Plan ahead and consider your alternative travel options. You can use the Merseytravel journey planner.

► Check timetables and leave more time for your journey.

► Avoid travelling at peak times where possible. Don't aim for the last bus or train home as services are likely to be very busy.

► Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes in and out of the City Centre including the Mersey Tunnels.

► Speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or the possibility of working from home.

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail, said:- "I am really disappointed with the strike action being taken by the RMT that will, after the previous strike days, yet again result in more disruption to your services. The timing of these latest strikes, 3 within a week, has been deliberately scheduled so as to cause as much impact as possible to you as a passenger. At the request of the Metro Mayor, we agreed to independent conciliation with the RMT union with no pre-conditions, but to date, the RMT have refused to meet without pre-conditions. I am very keen to begin a meaningful dialogue and engage in a detailed negotiation to find a middle ground which will satisfy all parties. As always, we will ensure that we deliver as robust a timetable as we can that will best serve your travel needs."

Sharon Keith, Regional Director at Northern said:- "We are doing everything we can to keep our customers on the move during the three days of industrial action affecting our network. We are still working to determine the exact services we will be able to operate, but those trains that do run will be on an amended timetable and are likely to be extremely busy. We ask our customers to plan carefully, allow extra time for travel and check the Northern website for the latest information."

Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel said:- "Merseytravel, together with transport operators, have been working to ensure a robust transport plan is in place to support customers with their journeys in January. In the past customers have responded well by planning ahead and in many cases making changes to their usual journey when necessary. We are confident that by continuing to plan ahead, our customers, both local and from further afield, will be able to go about their business, whether they choose to travel by rail, bus, ferry or car. For help planning your journey, or finding out what other services are available, please download the Merseytravel app or use the online journey planner."

For up to the minute service information, visit:-

► Arriva - Follow them on Twitter and via their website.

► Stagecoach - Follow them on Twitter and via their website.

► Merseyrail - Follow them on Twitter and via their website.

► Mersey Ferries - Follow them on Twitter and via their website.

► Northern - Follow them on Twitter and via their website.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:- "Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to press ahead with the action exactly as planned. No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all. RMT is in no doubt that it is the dead hand of the minority Tory Government that is interfering in these disputes and that their influence is a factor in preventing the union from reaching negotiated settlements. With the fare increases kicking in this week it is outrageous that Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip off the British passenger with eye watering far increases to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains. RMT is demanding that the blockade on talks is lifted in these separate disputes to allow us to negotiate freely with the companies and give us the opportunity to pursue the objective of a guard guarantee that puts British passenger safety before the rank exploitation of our rail network by fare jacking private companies who are laughing all the way to the bank. If it's good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety 1st then it's good enough for the rest of the UK. RMT stands ready for talks in each of these separate disputes."


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