COMMUTERS are being warned to plan ahead and expect disruption on Friday 1 and Monday 4 September as staff on Northern rail services hold two one-day strikes.
The strikes will run from 00.01 to 23.59 on each day. Most Northern services are not expected to run and any that do operate to a revised timetable will be extremely busy.
All public transport and Greater Manchester’s roads are expected to be busier, with key commuter routes forecast to face the most pressure as people make alternative arrangements.
Monday 4 September is expected to be the most affected day as the majority of Greater Manchester schools return for the new academic year.
No rail services will operate between Manchester and Preston via Bolton as the line is currently closed due to a burst water main and a severely damaged bridge at Moses Gate. Bus and route diversions are in place.
In addition the A6 through Stockport is currently closed for essential engineering and so the surrounding road network is expected to be very busy. Check travel advice online.
Transport for Greater Manchester, which is helping to co-ordinate the region’s response, is urging people to plan ahead and consider carefully their travel arrangements.
It is working to support Northern’s own customer communications effort and has created a special travel information page to help keep commuters on the move: tfgm.com/industrial-action
TfGM’s Transport and Event Planning Lead, John Fryer, said: “We are taking action to minimise the disruption to the transport network but we know it will still be very busy, particularly as many schools across the region return.
“Commuters can play their part to minimise disruption and our advice is simple: plan ahead, be prepared, and think about all your travel choices.
“Can you travel at a different time or does your employer allow you to work from home? If you can travel at a quieter time, or in a different way, it can make a massive improvement not just to your journey but to people who simply don’t have a choice.”
As well as working with other transport authorities across the North, TfGM has taken action locally to help people who have to travel on the days of the strike, including;
- Ensuring as many Metrolink trams as possible will be in service
- Publicising various park and ride sites to allow customers to complete their journeys by different transport options
- Working with bus and other train operators to maximise capacity across the network, particularly on the busiest commuter corridors
- Enhanced monitoring at its network control centre so traffic flows can be optimised by altering signal timing
- Working with local highway authorities to temporarily suspend roadworks where possible on the region’s main commuter routes
For detailed information about the Northern rail industrial action visit www.northernrailway.co.uk/industrial-action
For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.