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Grand National day strike will mean no Wirral Line trains to Chester or Ellesmere Port

Other lines will suffer as services to Aintree are being prioritised

The start of the 2016 Grand National(Image: James Maloney)

There will be no Wirral Line trains in and out of Chester or Ellesmere Port when rail workers strike on the day of the Grand National.

Merseyrail's efforts to prioritise Aintree services because of the big race mean other lines are likely suffer.

RMT union members will walk out for the second time in the dispute over driver-only trains on Saturday, April 8. The 24-hour strike will affect both Merseyrail and Northern Rail.

Wirral Line services from Liverpool will be reduced and terminate at Hooton, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The only public transport option will be the bus.

Trains from Liverpool city centre to Aintree will run every seven and a half minutes on its 'busiest day of the year'.

Merseyrail(Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

A Merseyrail spokesperson said: “The action being taken by the RMT on the city region’s busiest day of the year will affect others not travelling to and from Aintree, and in the interests of public safety, Merseyrail has prioritised the route to Aintree from the city-centre.

“As a result, there will be fewer trains or no trains at all on other parts of the network, although rail replacement buses will run on certain lines and services on key bus routes will be strengthened.

“People travelling on mainline rail services can still travel into and out of Liverpool, but as Northern is also affected by strike action, people should check the timetable before they travel.”

Merseyrail wants to introduce a new £460m fleet of trains, which would operate without guards, by 2020.

RMT members carried out their first strike on March 13.

The union's general secretary Mick Cash said: “Merseyrail are completely ignoring the clear wishes of their own passengers, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of driver-only operated trains on their network.

"That pig-headed attitude has forced the union’s hand and the idea that we would compromise on the fundamental issue of rail safety is absurd."

Up to 220 guard jobs could be at risk, but the rail company says all staff will be guaranteed employment elsewhere in the business.

Aintree Racecourse managing director John Baker added: “We’ve been extremely encouraged that by working closely together with Merseyrail, Merseytravel and other transport providers we are doing everything possible to ensure racing fans will be transported effectively on Grand National day with as little disruption as possible.

“They have always been excellent transport partners for our event and we are very pleased they will be able to provide such comprehensive transport to and from Aintree on Saturday April 8.

“I’m confident that when race-goers arrive at Aintree Racecourse they will be part of a world class spectacle – we look forward to welcoming them.”

Merseyrail timetable overview for Grand National day

· No services between Chester and Hooton or between Ellesmere Port and Hooton. Existing bus services to offer direct connections between Chester, Ellesmere Port and Liverpool.

· Half-hourly service from Hooton to James Street from 10.15 till 14.15 and from 17.15 till 20.45.

· Half-hourly service from James Street to Hooton from 10.15 till 14.15 and from 16.45 till 21.15.

Merseyrail(Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

· 71⁄2-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 11.15 and 13.30, calling at Moorfields only.

· 71⁄2-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 17.30 and 19.15, calling at Moorfields only.

· 15-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 10.00 and 11.00, calling at Moorfields only.

· 15-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 16.30 and 17.30, and between 19.15 and 21.00, calling at Moorfields only.

For the full timetable visit the Merseyrail website here.

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