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Corporate Offer - Cycle Hub

Commuters warned of strike-day disruption

Lee Howarth

Commuters are being warned to plan ahead and expect disruption on Friday (28 April) as staff on Northern rail services hold a one-day strike.

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.

Numbers travelling will also likely increase as Friday marks the start of the May Bank Holiday weekend.

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.”

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 where it can to the Metrolink network
• Additional staff on Metrolink and at key bus stations to help commuters
• 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 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.”