Northern rail strike: Planned walk-out to go ahead despite weather chaos

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A planned rail strike in Yorkshire will go ahead despite heavy snow causing disruption throughout the week.

Members of the RMT union will stage the 24-hour walk-out on Northern rail services on Saturday, it was announced today.

Merseyrail workers will also be on strike on Saturday, as part of separate disputes over the role of train guards and the extension of driver-only operated trains.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with Northern and Merseyrail over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces. No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies

“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England."

Northern said that is aims to run more than 1,000 services on Saturday, subject to weather conditions, but its timetable will be reduced to less than half the number of usual trains.

A spokesperson said: "The majority of available trains will operate between 7am and 7pm as we focus on running as many trains as we can to get you into work and home again. During these hours, we plan to operate around 45 per cent of the normal Saturday timetable.

"As the overall number of trains running will be reduced, we expect trains and any replacement buses we operate to be extremely busy. Please allow extra time for journeys, plan carefully and consider whether travel is necessary.

"During the RMT strike action we expect all services to be busy, especially in the morning and evening peak periods, and advise you to allow extra time to travel."