Rail strike reminder: Northern dispute means reduced Hartlepool and Sunderland Saturday service

Northern rail services are affected by industrial action this Saturday.
Northern rail services are affected by industrial action this Saturday.
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Just under a third of trains will operate in the area this Saturday when a rail operator is hit by its latest one-day strike.

Northern services from Hartlepool and Sunderland towards Middlesbrough and Newcastle will mainly run between 9am-5pm as staff protest over uncertainties facing the future of conductors.

Nor will the trains continue as far north as the Metro Centre or as far south as Nunthorpe.

Workers and shoppers heading to the Metro Centre are instead advised to change at Newcastle before picking up the company's reduced service to Carlisle.

There are no connecting rail services south from Middlesbrough to James Cook Hospital, Marton, Gypsy Lane and Nunthorpe.

Paul Barnfield, Northern's regional director, said: “All of Northern’s services will be limited and we ask customers to plan their travel carefully.”

Northern, run by Arriva Trains North, usually runs 15 Saturday services in either direction connecting Sunderland and Hartlepool with Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

Some continue as far as the Metro Centre and Nunthorpe with another five services travelling between Sunderland and Hartlepool.

The first of six Newcastle trains this Saturday leaves Hartlepool at 8.02am and Sunderland at 8.30am with the last service leaving the same stations at 6.03pm and 6.29pm respectively.

The first of seven Middlesbrough trains, meanwhile, leaves Sunderland at 7.51am and Hartlepool at 8.15am at with the last service leaving at 5.39pm and 6.03pm respectively.

With the company also running services on Merseyside, spectators at the Grand National meeting face a race of their own to get from the Aintree racecourse on the outskirts of the city in time to catch Northern's last train out of Liverpool Lime Street station at 6.30pm.

Mr Barnfield added: “We are doing everything we can to keep customers on the move on Saturday, 8th April.

"Unfortunately planned strike action will severely limit our services, with the majority of the trains that we do run operating between 9am and 5pm.

“On Grand National day Northern usually provides additional train services to help as many people as possible into Liverpool to enjoy their day at Aintree.

“Wherever possible we have provided extra carriages on the trains we are able to operate, but racegoers need to know Northern’s last train out of Liverpool Lime Street will leave at 6.30pm. To get a Northern train home, visitors will need to leave Aintree well before the last races.”

The 24-hour strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union covers Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North trains and is over fears that reducing conductor numbers will affect both staff and passenger safety.

Full details for the reduced Saturday service, log on to northernrailway.co.uk