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 strike make alternative arrangements.
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 Events and Operational Coordination Manager, John Fryer, said: “We are taking action to minimise the disruption to the transport network but we know there will still be problems.
“Commuters can play their part to minimise these 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.
“Make a difference: make a choice,” he said.
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 day of the strike.
As well as creating the travel information page, other TfGM actions include:
· Adding more capacity to the Metrolink network where it can – an extra 1,600 seats per hour in the peak – on the Eccles-Ashton and East Didsbury-Rochdale lines
· Additional staff on Metrolink and at key bus stations to help commuters
· 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 day of the strike 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.”