News of the latest Arriva Rail North strike dates
Following on from July’s strikes, there will be another two days of rail strikes next month. Again, this is due to the RMT members’ opposition to Driver Only Operation.
The two strikes will take place on Friday 01 September and on the 04 September (the following Monday). Friday’s strike will also affect passengers wishing to go to the Blackpool Illuminations switching-on ceremony. Monday’s coincides with the first day of school for most pupils. As with previous strike days, fewer services, bus replacement services in some cases, and an early finish. Season tickets who choose not to travel on the two days can claim compensation via the Delay Repay scheme.
Timetable Overview, 01 September and 04 September:
Normal weekday services. Due to Northern’s reduced services, expect TPE trains to be busier than usual.
Normal weekday services. Some trams might have four cars instead of the usual two cars.
First Greater Manchester/Stagecoach Manchester/independent bus operators
Normal weekday services though with some further delays due to increased congestion on the roads. Please note that on the 04 September, some timetables may have changed to normal schooldays running times.
Northern services east of the M60 motorway
- Huddersfield line: limited bus replacement service calling at all stations between Stalybridge and Huddersfield. No trains from Stalybridge to Manchester Victoria via Ashton-under-Lyne.
- Hadfield/Glossop line: limited hourly service with two extra peak hour trains.
- Rose Hill Marple and New Mills Central lines: very limited service on both lines. Trains every two hours from Hyde North, Hyde Central, Woodley, and Rose Hill Marple stations. No trains calling at Fairfield station.
- Calderdale line: limited service with some Yorkshire trains terminating at Rochdale, where passengers may need to change trains for Manchester Victoria.
- Stockport to Stalybridge train (FO dep. 0900): no service.
Alternative methods of transport
If your nearest station has little or no services on the two days, here’s our list of alternative ways to get to Manchester, Huddersfield and Marple. Please note that season tickets along affected routes may be valid on Metrolink trams and any Arriva bus service (plus Yorkshire Tiger routes).
- Ashton-under-Lyne: rail season tickets may also be valid on Metrolink services between Ashton and Manchester City Zone stops. Plus, there’s several 216s and 219s (Stagecoach Manchester) to Piccadilly Gardens. If you’re heading towards Stalybridge, First Greater Manchester’s 348 is your most direct route. Stagecoach Manchester’s 236 and 237 services are a good choice too. For Mossley and Greenfield (First Greater Manchester’s 350, 353, and 354 services are worth considering.
- Belle Vue: Stagecoach Manchester’s 201, 203, 204, 205, 206 and 207 services continue to Piccadilly Gardens (a Stagecoach Day Rider may be a good option, as well as a good book and a fully charged smartphone). For journeys to Marple, Romiley, and Bredbury, the 203 to Stockport then a 383 or 384 could be a good option. Or you could get a 203 to Reddish North and try for the skeleton service to Marple.
- Fairfield: Stagecoach Manchester’s regular 219 service is a good alternative. In the morning peak, there are four Manchester-bound journeys of the 221 service from Dukinfield (three in the evening peak in the reverse direction).
- Gorton: as with Fairfield, the 219 and 221 services are a good shout. Or you could walk a little further in the opposite direction for the 201, 203, 204, 205, 206 and 207 services.
- Greenfield: the easiest way of getting to Manchester, besides the train, is a 180 or 184 bus straight to Piccadilly Gardens. Alternatively, you could alight at Mumps Bridge and change over to a tram. First Greater Manchester’s 184 service offers an hourly connection with Marsden, Slaithwaite, and the other Colne Valley villages without a station. Travelling to Ashton-under-Lyne and Mossley means First Greater Manchester’s and 350, 353 and 354 services. The 353 and 354 also call at Stalybridge bus station.
- Hyde North: for Manchester Piccadilly, you could try the skeleton service from Flowery Field station (supposing the wooden platforms can take the weight of the extra passengers). Alternatively, you could get a 330 to Ashton-under-Lyne and change for a tram, or walk along Johnson Brook Road for the 340 (early evenings and Sunday daytime), 343, or 389 buses to Stalybridge and change for a Transpennine Express service.
- Hyde Central: Stagecoach Manchester’s 201 service is a viable alternative. You can also catch the 204 (after 7pm), 206 and 207 (peak hours only), though they offer a less direct route than the 201.
- Marsden: First West Yorkshire and First Greater Manchester have buses every ten minutes to Huddersfield in the daytime. The 184 from Manchester and Oldham is only once hourly.
- Mossley: there are two ways of getting to Manchester on Monday (though one of them isn’t the 153 route: that was withdrawn in April 2005). You can get the 340 (early evenings), 343, 353, or 354 into Stalybridge for Transpennine Express’ journeys. Or you could take the 350, 353, or 354 into Ashton-under-Lyne for a tram. Travelling to West Yorkshire is more finicky: you need to get a 350, 353, or 354 to Uppermill for the 184 service to Huddersfield (plus Marsden and Slaithwaite).
- Slaithwaite: a few miles east on the A62, Slaithwaite benefits from the same high frequency corridor of buses as Marsden.
- Strines: your next nearest station is Marple, where Northern’s skeleton service will start from. A taxi or short drive may be needed, especially as the 358 bus stops some distance away from Marple station.
- Woodley: try Stagecoach Manchester’s 330 service to Bredbury station for the skeleton service into Manchester Piccadilly. As the 389 bus hasn’t served Woodley since April 2009, a journey to Romiley or Marple may be best done on foot along the Peak Forest Canal.
Before You Go…
Allow extra time for your journey, especially on Monday where some schools might be starting again. In other words, keep your digital devices fully charged (that free WiFi access will come in handy), take a good book with you as well. On the skeleton services, expect them to be busier than usual. Likewise with the trams and the buses, though Metrolink may be providing reinforcements on Monday (more trams and/or longer trams).
If you are going to see the Blackpool illuminations switch-on, you could catch any Transpennine Express or Virgin train to Preston. Then continue to Blackpool on Stagecoach North West’s 61 and 68 services. Please note that rail tickets wont be accepted on the aforementioned routes and that the 68 service goes via Lytham, St. Annes-on-the-Sea, and Squires Gate. Alternatively, some local coach companies will be offering trips to the Blackpool Illuminations.
Useful References and Resources
- Industrial Action is about the safety issues of DOO (Driver Only Operation), involving the RMT union;
- Normal service on First Transpennine Express, Virgin, Arriva Trains Wales, East Midlands Trains, and London Midland routes;
- Limited service on Northern routes, with some areas having no service at all (where alternative modes may exist);
- Normal service with extra trams and/or longer trams on Metrolink services;
- Season tickets may be valid on Metrolink trams and Arriva Bus bus routes (including Yorkshire Tiger services).
S.V., 24 August 2017.