Warn­ing for com­muters and Xmas travel

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Tony Dewhurst and Kelly Jenk­ins

COM­MUTERS face fresh Christ­mas travel hell as many train net­works in­tro­duce a new timetable to­day.

Car­ri­ers in­clud­ing Lon­don North Eastern Rail­way – which has more than 20 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year – Hull Trains, Grand Cen­tral, South Eastern and Vir­gin Trains West Coast will all see dis­rup­tion.

The last timetable change, in May, caused wide­spread dis­rup­tion, with many trains can­celled or de­layed – and led to mass com­plaints from dis­grun­tled pas­sen­gers.

While Net­work Rail has as­sured pas­sen­gers “lessons have been learned”, pas­sen­ger groups and unions have warned trav­ellers to ex­pect de­lays to ser­vices. Manuel Cortes, of the TSSA union, said: “It’s like re­ar­rang­ing the deckchairs on the Ti­tanic. This will do noth­ing to re­pair the dam­age which frag­men­ta­tion and pri­vati­sa­tion have in­flicted on our in­dus­try.”

Bruce Wil­liamson, of cam­paign group Rail­fu­ture, said: “The timetable change should go smoother than it did in May, but noth­ing is guar­an­teed.”

The Sun­day Peo­ple can also re­veal North­ern Rail pas­sen­gers will be hit with yet more dis­rup­tion – as an on­go­ing in­dus­trial dis­pute means work­ers are now stag­ing walk-outs ev­ery Satur­day be­fore Christ­mas.

The net­work has been dubbed North­ern

The Eif­fel Tower and Lou­vre were among the tourist at­trac­tions closed as the an­gry mob slammed Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron.

The sub­way was shut in the cen­tre and Christ­mas mar­kets, foot­ball matches and other events were axed.

The grass­roots move­ment be­gan as re­sis­tance to a rise in taxes for diesel and petrol but quickly ex­panded to en­com­pass other griev­ances.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump gloated: “The Paris Agree­ment isn’t work­ing out so well for Paris. Protests and ri­ots all over France.

“Peo­ple do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world coun­tries (that are ques­tion­ably run), in or­der to maybe pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.” Fail by pas­sen­gers left strug­gling to hold down jobs and even forced to move home.

Katie Macdon­ald, a con­tracts man­ager, told how it is not un­com­mon for 50 or 60 peo­ple to be left be­hind on the platform, un­able to board the early morn­ing ser­vice from Bolton to Manch­ester Vic­to­ria.

She said: “North­ern Rail is a chaotic, shame­ful, na­tional dis­grace.”

Tim Far­ron, MP for South Lake Dis­trict, said: “It is sim­ply not ac­cept­able. No­body can rely on North­ern – they have to go.”

North­ern said: “We would like to apol­o­gise to any cus­tomers who face de­lays, can­cel­la­tions or a re­duc­tion in car­riages.”

DRAS­TIC: Of­fi­cer ready to fire on pro­test­ers DE­FI­ANT: Yellow-vest taunts the po­lice UNITED STAND: On the Champs El­y­sees

CHAOS: Crammed in­side train

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