It’s good news and bad on trains

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - ALEX SCAPENS

SEA­SONAL shop­pers in Mac­cles­field will have more trains to visit the Christ­mas Mar­kets and other Manch­ester at­trac­tions - but fewer to get home again.

Rail op­er­a­tor North­ern has an­nounced the Manch­ester to Mac­cles­field line will be hit by strike ac­tion from rail union RMT on Satur­days from De­cem­ber 1 to 29.

It means there will only be one train ev­ery two hours and the last ser­vice to Mac­cles­field will de­part at 4.47pm.

The news came in the same week Vir­gin Trains re­vealed it was putting on an ad­di­tional ser­vice from Mac­cles­field to Manch­ester ev­ery hour on Satur­days be­fore Christ­mas be­tween 11am and 5pm.

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.

“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 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.”

Those want­ing to use the Manch­ester to Mac­cles­field ser­vice on Satur­days have been warned it will be busy and urged to check timeta­bles in ad­vance.

Mick Cash, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the RMT, said: “We await any new pro­pos­als from North­ern Rail which main­tain for the trav­el­ling pub­lic the same level of safety, se­cu­rity and ac­cess that they en­joy at the mo­ment based on the guar­an­tee of the guard on ev­ery train.

“RMT re­mains avail­able for talks.”

Vir­gin Trains will have two ser­vices an hour run­ning from Mac­cles­field to Manch­ester on Satur­days from De­cem­ber 1 to 22.

The ad­di­tional one will de­part Mac­cles­field at six min­utes past the hour be­tween 11.06am and 5.06pm.

Gaynor Ste­wart, gen­eral man­ager at Vir­gin Trains, said: “Manch­ester is a very pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion on our route and each year more peo­ple are mak­ing the jour­ney to the city to get into the fes­tive spirit.”

‘We are aim­ing to keep as many peo­ple mov­ing as pos­si­ble’

Mac­cles­field rail­way sta­tion

Mem­bers of Mac­cles­field Boys Boxing Club with the punch­bag

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