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Tameside commuters set to be affected by another rail strike
Tuesday 19th September 2017 @ 18:26 by Adam Higgins
News Tameside

Commuters across Tameside are set to be affected by a two-day rail strike early next month – a fifth walkout in the space of eight months.

The strike will impact on services on Tuesday, October 3, and Thursday, October 5.

It is being held by RMT Union members in the ongoing dispute over rail safety and a prospective move to driver-only trains.

It will affect Northern services across Greater Manchester – including between Hadfield and Manchester Piccadilly which calls at Newton, Flowery Field and Guide Bridge – with only a skeleton service set to be in operation.

This would mean drivers and guards from Arriva Rail North, which operates the Northern rail franchise, would stage a 24-hour walkout on both of the aforementioned dates.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said: “Yet again we have been confronted with the sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North and that means that we have no option but to confirm a further round of strike action.

“The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company. We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to fail to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the Department for Transport to join us in round table talks aimed at finding a solution.”

He went on to say: “The union continues to remain available for meaningful discussions with the company in order to seek a satisfactory resolution to the on-going dispute.”

In response, Richard Allan, Northern’s Deputy Managing Director, said: “Northern is modernising local rail with new and refurbished trains, better stations and faster journeys and, while strike action is disruptive, we remain firmly focused on delivering a better service for our customers.

“RMT continues to reject our offers to talk and we are disappointed that the union has called further strike action on Tuesday 3 and Thursday 5 October. We are still prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years.”

The latest industrial action follows one-day strikes in March and April this year, a three-day strike in July and a two-day strike at the start of this month (September). Another strike was due to take place at the end of May but was suspended in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.

With trains likely to be extremely busy, passengers intending to use the rail network on either of the two days are advised to give themselves more time to travel and consider whether their journey is necessary.