Manchester: When are rail strikes in December and how will industrial action affect Christmas travel?

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As RMT announces rail strikes over Christmas, many in Manchester will have to look for alternative travel options for the holiday season.

As Christmas approaches, so do travel plans for the festive season. But as on previous weekends throughout the year, the holidays will see rail strikes affecting services in Greater Manchester.

RMT have announced they will walk out on 48-hour industrial action on four occasions in December, including over Christmas. This means travel on these dates and the days following will be heavily impacted. Industrial action will take place on December 13-14, 16-17 and December 24 to 27. Anyone planning to travel by train have therefore been advised to arrange their travel plans well in advance as there will be limited or no services in and around Manchester on those dates, as well as disruption to surrounding dates.

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Here are all the services in Greater Manchester that will see disruption on the dates leading up to and over Christmas due to the industrial action.

Monday, December 12 - Saturday, December 17 2022

According to Northern Railway, services will run as usual on Monday December 12 but advise customers to not travel unless absolutely necessary from Tuesday, December 12 to Saturday, December 17.

Services on Sunday December 18 will also likely be affected by the strikes. Trains might be very crowded and later than usual, and it is advised to check with your train company if you have to travel.

There will be no replacement buses or coaches on strike days. Northern stations and services may also be closed during industrial action or have reduced hours.

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Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “This is the last thing we want to do in the run-up to Christmas, but with the RMT pressing ahead with these 48-hour strikes, we have no option but to advise customers not to travel. We can only apologise once again for the disruption their action will cause.”

Routes that will have services running – hourly between 7.30am and 6.30pm – include Liverpool to Manchester Airport. Customers should check before they travel if planning to use one of these skeleton services.

How December rail strikes will affect Christmas travel in ManchesterHow December rail strikes will affect Christmas travel in Manchester
How December rail strikes will affect Christmas travel in Manchester | AFP via Getty Images

Sunday, December 18 - Tuesday, December 27

Northern is currently assessing what disruptions will be seen from Sunday, December 18 to Tuesday, December 27. There will be no services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and the surrounding dates will most likely see severe disruptions due to the industrial action.

Northern have withdrawn the sale of any advanced tickets for strike days, and there will be no replacement buses or coaches. Timetables will be available shortly.

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