Northern Rail has released its timetables for today and this coming Thursday, two of the three days of RMT strike action taking place this week.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (19, 21 and 23 June) will see further action by RMT members and Northern has developed timetables to keep the north of England on the move.
Sharon Keith, Regional Director for Northern, said:
“Today and this coming Thursday we will run around 1,200 services each day and will be concentrating our efforts on running as many services as possible between 7am and 7pm to get our customers to and from work.
“On Saturday we will focus on keeping leisure travellers on the move, but anyone travelling on the Northern network should be aware that our services will start later and finish earlier than usual.”
Northern Rail has responded to RMT’s strike action.
The Leader of Stockport Council, Cllr Alex Ganotis, expresses major concerns over the extremely poor rail service standards passengers have had to endure in the past couple of months.
In letters to Arriva Rail North and Transport for Greater Manchester, Cllr Ganotis has called for an immediate solution to Northern Rail’s poorly designed timetable, with its delivery seeing many trains across the north either being cancelled or severely delayed.
Together with the region’s civic leaders and businesses, Cllr Ganotis also signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May calling on the government to grant full powers to the region to manage its rail infrastructure.
Northern’s timetable has caused trains to be overcrowded and no assurances have been given this will be rectified. In addition, the timetable also creates unacceptable gaps in service, with all stations suffering from gaps in peak time services of up to 45 minutes.
For many people, the latest timetable makes travel by train simply impractical, with a likely increase in people choosing to travel by car along already congested roads across the region, including the overcrowded A6 and A34 corridors.
Cllr Ganotis said:
“The issues on the rail network we’ve seen in the last few weeks are completely unacceptable. The new timetable requires people to either travel earlier than required, and for people with children this means incurring additional childcare costs or alternatively travelling late.
“The timetable is also a particular issue for local schools whose pupils rely on the rail services and who have raised specific safeguarding concerns. Many students travel a considerable distance into Stockport and the gap in the timetable requires them to arrive very early in the morning before the schools are open. It appears that Northern gave little or no concern for the convenience or welfare of the travelling public when creating this timetable.
“Furthermore, the emergency timetable Northern brought in has reduced service levels still further and does not represent a sustainable solution.
“This situation has led to significant disruption and inconvenience. Many people are employed by small businesses that simply don’t have sufficient staff to be able to offer flexible working arrangements. We have already received several letters from residents stating that they will now have to revert to car travel into the city centre.
“Many people are employed by small businesses that simply don’t have sufficient staff to be able to offer flexible working arrangements. We have already received several letters from residents stating that they will now have to revert to car travel into the city centre.
“It’s also extremely disappointing that Northern was unable to accommodate the suggestions made by officers and residents during the consultation period. This raises the question as to the values of a consultation process that is unable to respond to very clear feedback.”
Richard Allan, Northern’s Deputy Manager Director, said:
“Northern is working extremely hard to stabilise and provide certainty in delivering a reliable train service on those parts of our network affected by recent very significant disruption and cancellations.
“We have apologised repeatedly and extensively to customers, are working urgently on our additional customer compensation offer, and our energy and focus is on providing a better service for customers.
“The May timetable problems and the latest RMT strike action will not deter us from delivering our modernisation plans for customers – £500m of new trains which are currently under construction, better stations and more services by 2020.
“We are still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay reviews for conductors until the end of our franchise in 2025, with the Government guaranteeing jobs beyond that, but both guarantees depend on RMT ending its strike action.”
“On each day of the strike action we will be running fewer services and expect those services we do operate to be extremely busy. It is, therefore, vital that anyone thinking of travelling with Northern on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday plans their journey carefully.”
Full details of Northern’s timetables for the days of the RMT strike on Tuesday and Thursday can be found online here or at National Rail Enquiries. Details of the timetables for Saturday will be released by the middle of this week.
Image and Source: Northern Rail