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Northern train strike set to cause disruption for Preston commuters

Posted on - 8th March, 2017 - 12:38pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Transport
A Northern service heads of Manchester Pic: Aero Pixels
A Northern service heads of Manchester Pic: Aero Pixels

Fewer than half of Northern trains are to run during industrial action on Monday (13 March).

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The train operator which has numerous services each day from Preston is warning of widespread disruption.

The RMT Union is striking in response to Northern’s ‘modernisation programme’.

Monday’s strike is due to a dispute between Northern and the union about removing the responsibility of opening and closing train doors from guards.

Around 980 trains are due to run on Monday, which is only 40 per cent of the normal services.

Read more: No trains between Preston and Blackpool for TEN weeks

Deputy managing director of Northern Richard Allan said: “We have focused our planning efforts on maintaining a train service on our busier routes between 7am and 7pm, and are looking to provide replacement bus services on some routes where trains won’t run.

“We are acutely aware of the important role that Northern plays in keeping the north of England moving, would ask for your patience on Monday, and ask all our customers to individually take time to consider whether your journey is necessary and if it is, please plan carefully.”

Northern has more than 100 trained managers and other colleagues who will be carrying out some conductor duties to operate the revised timetable.

Inside the new look Northern carriages
Inside the new look Northern carriages

The train firm is beginning a modernisation programme of its fleet – with 281 new carriages, 243 upgraded trains and 2,000 extra services each week by 2020.

Mr Allan said: “Modernising the train journey of our customers means we have to make changes. We want to involve everyone as we develop our plans, from our customers and communities, to employees and their trade unions.

“Our proposals are still in the early stages, so it is disappointing that RMT is taking strike action on Monday 13 March, because there is lots of time to talk and agree how we modernise the way we provide customer service. As part of our proposals we are prepared to offer guarantees on jobs and pay to our people.”

You can check details of individual services on a dedicated page on Northern’s website.

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