Five days of rail strikes to affect all Manchester train services
- Between 3rd and 7th January there will be extremely limited trains leaving Manchester Piccadilly station
- Trains will be reduced on 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th and no trains at all are running on 5th January
Rail passengers are being warned to avoid travelling from Manchester Piccadilly station this week due to five days of strikes.
Two companies will be on strike across the first week of January meaning five straight days of disruptions.
Network Rail staff in the RMT union scheduled to go on strike for four of the five days at the beginning of January.
They have two sets of 48-hour walkouts scheduled, the first of which was earlier this week on Tuesday (3 January) and Wednesday (4 January). They will continue today (6 January ) and tomorrow (7 January). The usual average of 30 trains leaving every hour will be reduced to just two.
The beginning and end times of trains running are also heavily affected with the first train of the day at 7:30am and the final train running at 5pm.
Yesterday, in between these two strikes, train drivers in the ASLEF union were on strike. There were no services at all for Avanti West Coast, Northern Railway, TransPennine Express, East Midlands Railway, and CrossCountry.
Manchester residents have been impacted by the strikes. Thomas Ashfield, who lives in Sale, said: “The strikes are stopping me from getting to work. I rely on a train to get me into London. When they’re striking, I have to work from home.
“Though I agree with the principle behind the strikes, the effect it’s having on commuters is enormous.
“It’s been going on for months now, something needs to happen.”
However, not all residents are against them. Matt Edwards, who described himself as “massively pro-strike” said: “Whilst I was disrupted by the strikes over Christmas, I blame the train companies and the Conservative government for that disruption, not the people striking.
“It’s the only way working people have to express and articulate our needs to a political and employment class that reject them in pursuit of growth and profit.
“Only through solidarity can we potentially avoid everyone becoming 10% poorer this year.”
Scott Green, Manchester Piccadilly station manager, said: “Of course this is not the start to the year we want for rail passengers who have suffered all Christmas because of unnecessary strike action.
“We know how frustrating this period will be for passengers as strike action has such a huge impact on running a decent service.”
Network Rail warns passengers planning on travelling into Manchester and around the North West on strike days to only do so if absolutely necessary.
For customers who have purchased tickets for any of the days affected by the strikes, these will work on services running up until Tuesday 10th January. If the ticket is for a train that was cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled then these can be refunded fee-free.