Train strikes: Avanti West Coast & TransPennine Express release Manchester timetables ahead of August strikes

Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express have issued updated timetables ahead of the 18 & 20 August train strikes
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With the latest bout of train strikes set to be underway towards the end of this week, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express have issued updated timetables that include which services will run to and from Manchester.

The schedule shows how much of an impact the strike action will have on Manchester travellers throughout Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August.

These additional two days of strike action follow five others in 2022, with walkouts on 21 June, 23 June, 25 June, 27 July and 13 August. It is now the biggest instance of industrial rail action in the UK since 1989.

Lots of controversies have surrounded Avanti West Coast in particular over recent weeks after the company announced it would be running a heavily reduced service indefinitely, even on non-strike days.

This, according to Avanti West Coast themselves, is due to severe staff shortages caused by the current industrial relations climate. The train company says drivers are making themselves unavailable for overtime in a coordinated manner, and at short notice.

The strikes are taking place as part of a long running row over pay, pensions and working conditionsThe strikes are taking place as part of a long running row over pay, pensions and working conditions
The strikes are taking place as part of a long running row over pay, pensions and working conditions

In a letter of concern to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Avanti are falsely and shamefully making allegations that this decision is due to unofficial industrial action.

“The reality is this decision arises from poor management, cutting staffing to the bare minimum and rock bottom staff morale.” RMT is asking the Government to make steps to resolve the situation.

In the meantime, however, strike action is still being deployed across the UK, and services will be severely impacted in Manchester.

Here are the latest timetables for Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express, covering the railway strikes on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August 2022.

What is the Avanti West Coast timetable for Manchester during the August train strikes?

With a recent reduction in services from Avanti West Coast, the direct impact of the strike days means even fewer trains will run. There will be severe disruption, with no services running at all through Manchester in the late afternoon or evening on either strike day.

An Avanti West Coast train at Manchester PiccadillyAn Avanti West Coast train at Manchester Piccadilly
An Avanti West Coast train at Manchester Piccadilly

Trains both from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston and London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly will run roughly once every hour on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August 2022.

It is advised that people check before they travel on Friday 19 August and Sunday 21 August as these days fall after the ones in which RMT is striking, and there is likely to be further disruption as a result.

The full Avanti West Coast timetable for trains to and from Manchester, including services to and from Scotland and other destinations, can be found on the Avanti website.

What is the TransPennine Express timetable for Manchester during the August train strikes?

TransPennine Express services across both strike days – Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August 2022 – will be severely impacted, with very few trains running on the line to and from Manchester.

The north route, which starts at Manchester Piccadilly and ends at York – calling at the likes of Greenfield, Huddersfield and Leeds – will have services once every hour. This is also the case for the TransPennine Express running in the opposite direction.

A Transpennine train travelling towards Manchester.A Transpennine train travelling towards Manchester.
A Transpennine train travelling towards Manchester.

Meanwhile on the Anglo-Scottish route, trains first departing from Manchester Airport and then heading to Carlisle and Scotland via a change at Preston, will only have five services in each direction on both strike days. These will be roughly once every two hours between 8.45am and 5.15pm.

Anyone planning to head on the south route to Sheffield, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Barnetby, Habrough, Grimsby Town or Cleethorpes won’t be able to travel on Thursday 18 August or Saturday 20 August 2022, with all services cancelled.

It is advised that people check before they travel on Friday 19 August and Sunday 21 August as these days fall after the ones in which RMT is striking, and there is likely to be further disruption as a result.

The full TransPennine Express timetable for trains to and from Manchester, including services to and from Newcastle, York, Sheffield, Scotland and other destinations, can be found on the TransPennine Express website.

Why is the train strike happening?

The railway strikes are happening because members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are walking out over wages and an increased risk of redundancy.

These issues are particularly present in the cost of living crisis, with drivers and union members alike unwilling to risk leaving their thoughts unknown any longer.

RMT’s strike follows a failed discussion between themselves and several rail companies. Around 40,000 rail workers from Network Rail and 13 other train operators have been involved in the 2022 UK train strikes.