Rail services to be affected by strike action in run-up to Christmas starting this weekend

A Northern train.
A Northern train.

Strike action is set to affect rail services in the run-up to Christmas starting from this weekend.

Rail provider Northern has announced details of the services it will operate for the RMT strike action on Saturday, December 1, and the following four Saturdays.

The RMT strike action, planned for December 1,8,15,22 and 29, will see Northern running approximately 700 services during each Saturday – but with very few Northern services running after 5pm.

The Northern services that do run and other operators’ services are expected to be extremely busy as the build-up to Christmas continues.

Northern has called for RMT to suspend its damaging December strike action and return to talks at ACAS.

David Brown, managing director at Northern, said: “By the end of December, we will have had 19 consecutive Saturdays of RMT strike action.

"This targeted action disrupts our customers’ lives. But, as we enter a vital period for businesses, it also damages the economic wellbeing of the north of England.

“This Saturday, we are introducing a new timetable for RMT strike days that will deliver stable and consistent train services for our customers on each strike Saturday in December.

“We have fantastic colleagues who have supported customers by keeping our trains running on each of the RMT strike days.

"We are aiming to keep as many people moving as possible and ensuring customers can still travel into the biggest towns and cities for the big seasonal events including Christmas markets – but with very few services running after 5pm.

“We expect all of our services and those of other operators to be extremely busy and are calling on our customers to plan their travel carefully for the coming weekend, check the new timetables well in advance, and make sure they do not rely on the last trains home.”

Ongoing engineering work in some areas will also result in changes to some services over the weekend, particularly between Hull and Sheffield, Hull and York, Manchester and Crewe, Manchester and East Lancashire, Wigan and Manchester and Blackpool and York.