TransPennine Express rail strike: intercity services from Manchester disrupted - here are the routes affected

Passengers are once again being asked to plan their journeys ahead of time or avoid travelling if possible this weekend as an industrial dispute goes on.

Train passengers going to and from Manchester are being urged to plan ahead this weekend as intercity routes are once again hit by strike action.

TransPennine Express (TPE) is in a pay dispute with the RMT trade union and its conductors will be walking out on Sunday 15 May.

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The operator has warned there will be very limited train services running and passengers are being advised to plan their journeys carefully and to travel on another day if they can.

The RMT plans weekend strikes until early June if the dispute cannot be resolved.

Manchester Piccadilly rail station Credit: Shutterstock

Which Manchester routes are affected by the strike?

TPE says it will only be running a very limited service on certain routes on Sunday.

Timetables for the routes from Manchester to Hull, York, Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Edinburgh via Huddersfield and from Manchester to Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Cleethorpes via Sheffield can be viewed on the TPE website.

In addition there will be no TPE trains going to Scotland via Manchester and Preston along the West Coast Main Line route on Sunday.

Anyone that needs to make an essential journey between Manchester and Glasgow or Edinburgh via Preston and Carlisle should seek alternative transport or travel on Friday or Monday instead, TPE said.

In addition rail replacement buses are in use all weekend on part of that route due to engineering work being done by Network Rail.

The operator said anyone travelling over the weekend should plan carefully and allow plenty of extra travelling time.

Travellers are being urged to consider alternatives to the train first, especially as a number of events this weekend including Premier League football matches mean demand for transport is expected to be high.

When are the further strike dates?

The RMT has also announced a string of further dates when there will be industrial action.

Strikes are planned for Sundays through until 5 June.

In addition conductors will be on strike on Saturday 4 June, meaning there will be two consecutive strike days on that weekend.

These are likely to cause additional disruption for rail travellers.

What else do I need to know?

TPE says it has arranged with other operators for tickets marked “AP TPE ONLY” or “TPE ONLY”, as well as flexible ones, to be accepted on some of their services on strike days.

However, some exclusions will apply and the arrangements made do not all cover the same time period.

TransPennine Express is one of the worst performing rail operators in the country.

More information about amended timetables can be found at National Rail Enquiries.

TPE has also said that due to how busy services are expected to be bikes will not be able to be taken onto its trains on strike days.

What has the train operator said?

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express said: “We are frustrated that action by RMT continues to disrupt people’s journeys at the weekend.

“With another strike planned for this Sunday, we are calling on our customers to plan ahead and follow the guidance provided.”

What has the union said?

The RMT said that conductors are taking strike action as they had a request for pay increases for coming into work on their days off and Sundays turned down by the company.

The union said this was on the back of a two-year pay freeze and working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RMT said there is a large and unfair gap between the pay for conductors on their days off and Sundays and what other train crew receive for doing the same thing.

In addition, the union said a request for TPE to match Northern for a small payment for a new method of checking tickets had been rejected.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This escalation of our rock-solid strike action will bring TPE trains to a grinding halt and the bosses only have themselves to blame.

“What our members are demanding would cost TPE less money than the loss of revenue resulting from strike action.

“The public will be severely inconvenienced by this strike, and they should direct their wrath at TPE for not settling the dispute.

“RMT remains open to talks about properly rewarding our conductors for the crucial role they play in keeping the trains moving.”