Whilst the county’s public transport operators are starting to wind down for Christmas and New Year, travel in some areas of Greater Manchester is still being affected by ice and snow, and industrial action by members of the RMT union on Northern Rail will result in reduced rail services being operated on the bank holidays next week.
Northern Rail conductors belonging to the RMT are carrying out strikes on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December over the issue of whether the company should be paying an enhanced rate on those days due to the fact that this year Christmas and Boxing Day fall on the weekend – making Monday and Tuesday public holidays. Other rail operators in the county will be operating a near-normal weekday service on the two days. Northern Rail has announced a contingency plan for limited services that they will be operating – check your train times, but it might be better to stay at home if you’ve no other plans.
Most bus services in the county are operating their normal routes, but there are some minor roads and hills which are still icy and for which diversions are in operation. The weather forecast for Manchester predicts a cold weekend, sleet on Monday but milder temperatures later in the week.
Engineering work is scheduled to take place next week that may further affect rail services – services to Sheffield, Chester, Clitheroe and the Airport will be amended and/or be replaced by coaches.
GMPTE has a summary of services over the Christmas and New Year period, with more detailed information about changes to bus services available on operators’ own websites – generally speaking an early finish on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with no services on Christmas Day (except an hourly bus 43 to the airport) and limited services running on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Don’t forget the public holidays and revised timetables too – everything should be back to normal on Tuesday 4th January 2011.
On behalf of the team here at Manchester Transport blog, we hope you have a great Christmas!