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Merseyrail and Northern workers are striking TODAY - here's what you need to know

Plan ahead as train services will be heavily disrupted

Merseyrail(Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Rail passengers need to plan ahead of a 24-hour strike by Merseyrail and Northern workers today.

A reduced train schedule will be running from Chester and Ellesmere Port on Monday (March 13).

Wirral Line services will be running to and from Liverpool and terminating at Hooton every half an hour from 7am to 6.15pm only.

These will be six carriages long but are expected to be very busy.

 

Northern trains, which would usually go to Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport and beyond, will only run hourly from Chester and terminate at Altrincham starting from 6.30am through to 6pm.

There will be no Northern trains out of Ellesmere Port.

Additional buses are set to be running on key routes to meet an increased demand.

Services from Chester to Manchester, Crewe and North Wales by other providers, such as Arriva Trains Wales, will be running as normal.

The latest strike timetables can be found for Merseyrail here and for Northern here.

Why is the strike happening?

 

The National RMT union voted 'overwhelmingly' in favour of industrial action over plans by both Merseyrail and Northern to introduce driver-only trains.

 

 

More than 80% of their members supported the strike.

Merseyrail had aimed to introduce a new £460m fleet by 2020.

Their plans would see 220 guard jobs lost and 60 on-board customer service posts created.

For security, trains would be covered by CCTV which will broadcast images within the train saloon and to the driver and control room.

A similar dispute between Southern Rail and the RMT has seen multiple days of industrial action already take place.

 

What does the RMT say?

More than 80% of RMT union members voted in favour of the strike

 

RMT General secretary Mick Cash said the ballot shows the union is ‘prepared to stand up and fight for public safety’.

He said: “We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.

“It is the failure of Merseyrail to give guarantees on those basic principles that has led to the current dispute and the campaign of industrial action.

“This dispute was entirely preventable if the company had listened to the union's deep-seated safety concerns, had taken them seriously and had put passenger safety before profit."

Merseyrail RMT workers to strike next month against driver-only trains

 

What do Merseyrail say?

The rail provider tried and failed to get a court injunction to stop the strike last week.

Merseytravel chief executive Frank Rogers said: "Industrial action is intended to be disruptive and it will be.

"While rail travellers will be most directly affected, other people travelling in and around the Liverpool City Region that day are likely to be impacted as people take to the wider transport network.

"Consider when you travel and how, to play your part in keeping the City Region moving as best it can."

Merseyrail

These are the trains which will be running between Chester and Liverpool within the next five years

What do Northern Rail say?

Northern regional director Sharon Keith said: “Our aim is to deliver a public transport service for as many people as possible on Monday as we know Northern plays a key role in keeping the north of England moving.

“We expect all services, rail and bus, to be extremely busy and ask for customers’ patience on Monday.

"We would also ask customers to take time to consider whether journeys are necessary and, if they are, to plan carefully."

What do you think of this story? How will you be affected by the strike? Tweet us @ChesterChron or let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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