It’s good news and bad on trains
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