Passengers warned to avoid travel as TransPennine Express conductors to begin weekly strike action

Passengers are being warned to plan ahead - or stay at home Credit: PA

The Rail Union RMT has confirmed that conductors employed by TransPennine Express will be taking the first in a series of weekly strike actions this Sunday (13th February) over pay discrimination.

 The other three planned strikes are for February 20th, 27th and March 6th.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “TPE conductors who kept the trains running throughout the pandemic have been left with no choice but to take strike action after being given a flat NO to their reasonable request to close the pay gap between themselves and other TransPennine workers by bosses who have mostly been at home throughout the Covid crisis."

“Our members refuse to be treated unfairly and will be continuing with industrial action until the pay discrimination is dealt with. The union remains available for talks.”

Transpennine is warning customers to plan carefully ahead of the planned strikes and has released an amended timetable for February 13th that will see a significant reduction in available services. with customers being advised not to travel and to plan journeys for either side of the strike dates.

TPE will operate a limited service on the following routes:

  • Manchester – York via Huddersfield and Leeds

  • York - Scarborough

  • Edinburgh - Carlisle

  • Manchester Piccadilly - Sheffield

  • Doncaster - Cleethorpes

Anyone planning to travel during the strikes, should check carefully, right up to the last minute via the TPE website or by checking National Rail Enquiries as services may be subject to short notice changes. Customers should also allow extra time for journeys as the services TPE is able to operate will be far busier than normal.

Customer Experience Director Kathryn O'Brien said: “We are disappointed that RMT has chosen to disrupt people’s journeys at a time when the rail industry – alongside much of the nation – continues to feel the impact of the pandemic.

“We are doing all we can to keep our customers moving under difficult circumstances, but we simply will not be able to operate a timetable that provides a regular service. We will continue to review our strike response timetables and will seek to provide additional services where possible.

“Our advice to our customers is clear. This Sunday, do not travel unless you have to. If your journey is vital, plan and check carefully before travelling and allow plenty of extra time. Those trains we are running are likely to be far busier than normal.”

To help customers get where they need to be on Sunday, TPE has arranged ticket acceptance with several other train operators. TPE tickets will be accepted on Northern, Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Trains, LNER and Transport for Wales services. Some exclusions will apply and full details are available online.