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Northern to run less than half its services during Friday’s RMT strike

Northern has announced its reduced timetable in preparation for industrial action that is set to go ahead this Friday, saying that 55 of its routes will be operating as normal or with a replacement bus service.

The operator is expected to run more than 40% of its normal timetable as well as more than 300 additional rail replacement buses in an effort to minimise passenger disruption on the day of the strike.

In comparison, last time the RMT went on strike on Saturday 8 April – the same day as the Grand National – Northern only ran 32% of its normal service, a measure that RMT described as a “scab” timetable that would put passenger safety at risk.

The RMT’s latest strike is again scheduled to fall on a busy day for Northern, as cycling event the Tour de Yorkshire kicks off on Friday 28 April, though the TOC has stated that it will be adding more carriages to services where possible to accommodate for the event.

The dispute revolves around driver-only operation (DOO) on services and the role of the guard on trains. RMT argue that operators should assure passengers that a second member of staff will remain on the train for safety purposes.

Regional director for Northern Sharon Keith said: “We can now share the 55 routes that we will cover next Friday. 

“To keep as many people on the move as possible, we are targeting available trains on our busiest routes and at peak times,” she added. “The majority of trains will run between 7am and 7pm, with rail replacement buses on some routes where we unable to run trains.”

The Northern director also advised customers to plan carefully as services will wind down earlier than usual from the late afternoon.

“To support day one of the Tour de Yorkshire, where possible, we are adding carriages to the services we are able to operate around Middlesbrough, Whitby and Bridlington,” said Keith.

“Northern customers will also be able to use their rail tickets on Arriva Bus services, including Yorkshire Tiger, on 28 April for journeys they would otherwise have made by rail.”

Today also marks yet another day of negotiation between fellow operator Southern and RMT as the two parties again attempt to come to an agreement and bring the year-long feud, which is also over DOO trains, to an end.

To mark the anniversary of the dispute, RMT has also said that it is holding a national protest outside Parliament at midday this Wednesday 26 April.

Top Image: Alvey and Towers

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Terryk   25/04/2017 at 12:26

I think Mick Cash is on a loser with Northern Trains, the general public no longer have any sympathy with the RMT and with bus companies accepting rail tickets what does Mick hope to gain only more anger towards his Union and it's members. I was a member of the NUR and Syd Green would have gone about things differently and been able to settle without strikes.

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