Rail strikes to cause problems for rugby supporters
AND UNION CHIEFS CONFIRM MORE WEEKEND WALKOUTS ARE PLANNED
RUGBY fans heading to tonight’s Super League Grand Final are being warned of a train strike.
Wigan will take on Warrington at Old Trafford at 6pm in a battle to claim the prestigious Super League Trophy.
But supporters travelling on the rail network will have to plan ahead, as a walk-out staged by Northern staff will mean there won’t be many trains running.
Only 30 per cent of services will be running – with barely any planned for before 9am and after 6pm.
This weekend will be the eighth consecutive Saturday of strikes organised by RMT union members working at Northern.
The walk-out is over a long-running dispute over the role of train guards.
Liam Sumpter, regional director at Northern, said: “On Saturday, as a result of RMT strike action, we will only be able to run a very limited service, with most trains to and from Manchester starting after 8am and finishing before 7pm.
“It is disappointing that RMT has chosen to strike on a day which has such important for the rugby league fans across the north of England.
“We are doing everything we can to run as many trains as possible, but options to and from Warrington and Wigan are extremely limited. We are, therefore, asking our customers to plan carefully and, where possible, use alternative transport.”
For fans heading to and from Warrington, East Midlands Trains and Arriva Trains Wales will be running a regular service between Manchester and Warrington.
Liam added: “We are working closely with colleagues across the transport industry - and with Super League - to give fans as many options as possible to get to and from the season finale.”
Meanwhile, passengers are set to be plagued with yet more weekends of rail disruption with Northern staff planning to stage walk-outs into next month.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union has confirmed a raft of new strike dates.
Union members have been instructed to not work on Saturday, October 27, Saturday, November 3 and Saturday , November 10. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern but the company are not interested and would prefer to continue to bury their heads in the sand regardless of the impact on the travelling public. “German-owned Northern Rail want to run nearly half-a-million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.
“RMT has secured agreements on other English franchises that enshrine the guard guarantee.
“Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland.
“Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.
“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”