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Commuters warned of two days of rail strike disruption 

Transport for Greater Manchester travel advice for Friday 1 and Monday 4 September – tfgm.com/industrial-action

Commuters, parents and school returners 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 0001 to 2359 on each day.

Most Northern services are not expected to run and any that do operate, working to a revised timetable, will be extremely busy.

All public transport and Greater Manchester’s roads are expected to be busier, especially at peak morning and evening times, with key commuter routes forecast to face the most pressure as people affected by the strikes 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. This is also causing local road disruption and bus and route diversions are in place.

Customers are advised to check the details of their journey atwww.nationalrail.co.uk or by following @northernassist.

In addition the A6 through Stockport is currently closed for essential engineering and thus the surrounding road network is expected to be very busy. TfGM’s travel advice for the A6 closure is beta.tfgm.com/travel-updates/stockport-a6-bridge-works

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 on its website to help keep Greater Manchester 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 – by bus, tram, bike, foot or a mixture – 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
  • Deploying additional staff on Metrolink and at key bus stations to help commuters
  • Advising rail customers with monthly or greater season tickets that they can travel for free on Metrolink
  • 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

John added: “Our control room will open earlier and work later on the strike days and we’ll have additional customer service support on the phones and online to help people who have to travel, but our strongest advice is: expect disruption and plan ahead now.”

For detailed information about the Northern rail industrial action please 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.

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