TransPennine Express rail strike: passengers urged not to travel on Jubilee weekend as inter

Passengers are once again avoid travelling if possible this weekend as an industrial dispute goes on.

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Train passengers going to and from Manchester are being urged not to travel over the Platinum Jubilee 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 both Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June.

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

Manchester Piccadilly rail station  Credit: ShutterstockManchester Piccadilly rail station  Credit: Shutterstock
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 Saturday and Sunday and recommends this is only used by people making essential journeys.

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 will be put on the TPE website.

There will be no TPE trains going to Scotland via Manchester and Preston along the West Coast Main Line route on Saturday or Sunday.

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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.

The situation is further complicated by major engineering work for the Transpennine Route Upgrade which is also be taking place between 2 June and 5 June, the four days of the bank holiday weekend.

That means there are changes for TPE passengers travelling on the route between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Hull, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Redcar Central.

People heading to events over the weekend, including Jubilee celebrations, should seek alternative forms of transport, TPE said.

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Anyone who has to travel should check routes carefully before they set off and allow extra time as the few trains running are expected to be extremely busy, the train operator said.

What else do I need to know?

TPE has organised ticket acceptance with other train operators for Sunday which are: Northern, Avanti West Coast (between Wigan and Glasgow/Edinburgh), CrossCountry (between Leeds and Edinburgh), East Midlands Railway, Lumo (between Newcastle and Edinburgh), LNER (on Sunday only between York and Edinburgh), ScotRail (between Motherwell and Glasgow Central), Hull Trains (between Hull and Doncaster) and Transport for Wales (between Stockport, Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport) services.

Ticket acceptance is also in place for FirstBus services in West Yorkshire for customers who may need to use a bus service to complete a rail journey.

However, some exclusions will apply and travellers should therefore read through the full details on the TPE website.

TransPennine Express is one of the worst performing rail operators in the country.TransPennine Express is one of the worst performing rail operators in the country.
TransPennine Express is one of the worst performing rail operators in the country.
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More information about amended timetables can be found at National Rail Enquiries.

Bikes will also not be permitted on TPE services on either of the strike days this weekend.

What has the train operator said?

Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express said: “We are saddened that ongoing RMT strikes will mean we are unable to provide a full service for customers over such a special weekend, when celebrations will be taking place across the UK.

“With strike action planned for both Saturday and Sunday, coupled with major engineering work, our advice for customers is not to travel by train, and anyone heading to an event should seek alternative transport.

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“Major engineering work by Network Rail will also mean changes for customers travelling across our North route, and we are calling on them to plan ahead and check their journeys.”

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.

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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.

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

The union also says that TPE drivers have been offered a pay rise and the strike over the Jubilee weekend would not be going ahead had the same offer been made to conductors as well.

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