Passengers travelling to, from and within the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of planned industrial action by members of the RMT union on Merseyrail services Friday 22nd December.
Merseyrail services are planned to run every 30 minutes, with the exception of the New Brighton to Liverpool services which will be every hour, from around 07:00 to 19:00, with a break in service between around 11:30 and 14:30.
There will be no services on the following: Hunts Cross – Liverpool Central; Ellesmere Port – Hooton; Chester – Hooton and Ormskirk – Maghull.
There will also be no ‘late night’ services which were due to depart Liverpool Central at 01:30 on Saturday 23rd December.
Merseyrail tickets will be accepted on Arriva bus services on Friday 22nd December, except between 07:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:00.
Passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and Twitter @Merseyrailbefore travelling, as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.
Other train operating companies including Northern, TransPennine Express, East Midlands Trains and London Midland will continue to operate as normal, apart from Virgin Trains which are also due to strike on Friday 22nd December. For more information, please visit the Virginwebsite.
All other bus services, including late night services, and the Mersey Ferries are due to run as planned. Valid cross river rail tickets will be accepted on the Mersey Ferries on this day.
Key advice for everyone in the City Region needing to travel on Friday 22nd December:
- Plan ahead and consider your alternative travel options. You can use the Merseytravel journey planner.
- Check timetables and leave more time for your journey.
- Avoid travelling at peak times where possible. Don’t aim for the last bus or train home as services are likely to be very busy.
- Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes in and out of the city centre including Mersey Tunnels.
- Speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or the possibility of working from home.
Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail, said: “Firstly, let me start with an apology to you, our customers, who are being inconvenienced at one of the busiest times of the year. This latest strike, taking place on the last Friday before Christmas, will target people out doing their last-minute Christmas shopping, having fun with friends at festive events and many commuters on their final day in work before the holiday period starts. I promise that my team and I will do all we can to keep disruption to your festive plans to an absolute minimum and endeavour to provide as many trains as we possibly can in these difficult circumstances.”
Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel said: “We know traditionally that the last Friday before Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year, that’s why we’re working closely with local transport providers to provide passengers with as much information as possible. We are confident that by planning ahead, our customers, both local and from further afield, will be able to continue their festive plans with minimal disruption, whether they choose to travel by rail, bus, ferry or car.”