The rail strike taking place across the country this weekend is set to affect Metrolink services.

Rail passengers are being urged only to travel if necessary on Saturday because of a strike by workers in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Aslef, Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) will stage a co-ordinated walkout over pay, causing disruption to services.

A reduced timetable has been published, showing that just 11 per cent of rail services throughout the country will run on strike days, with some areas having no trains.

Tram disruption

The co-ordinated strike will result in tram services being impacted between Altrincham and Timperley before 7am and after 7pm on Saturday, October 1 and Saturday, October 8.

Metrolink relies on Network Rail’s signallers for safe operation through that part of the network, hence the disruption.

Other parts of the Metrolink system remain unaffected.

Before 7am and after 7pm Metrolink will be running replacement buses between this part of the network.

A 12-minute service will be running between Altrincham and the city centre between 7am and 7pm, as well as a peak service every 12-minutes from 9.30am to 6.30pm to Timperley.

This means there will be a tram every six minutes between Timperley and the city centre between 9.30am to 6.30pm.

Normal tram service will operate on Sunday, October 2, and Sunday, October 9 from 7am.

Bus services will operate as normal, with no train ticket acceptance on buses or tram in place, meaning passengers will have to make sure they buy a ticket.  

TfGM has set up a dedicated travel information page to help people plan their journey.

Train strike

This will be the first time rail unions have walked out on the same day, so train services will be more significantly disrupted than on previous strike days.

Trains will start later in the morning and finish earlier in the evening, and there will be no trains at all across large parts of the network.

Unlike previous strike days, this Saturday there will be no trains between London and a number of other major UK cities – including Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Brighton and Norwich.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to compromise and find a breakthrough in talks, rail unions remain intent on continuing and coordinating their strike action.

“This serves only to ensure our staff forgo even more of their pay unnecessarily, as well as causing even more disruption for our passengers and further damaging the railway’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Passengers who want to travel this Saturday, and indeed next Wednesday and next Saturday, are asked only to do so if absolutely necessary. Those who must travel should expect disruption and make sure they check when their last train will depart.”

TfGM’s head of operations, Alex Cropper, said: “There will be minimal rail services across Greater Manchester due to strike action on Saturday.

“This will cause disruption across the city-region, with some rail operators urging people not to travel or only travel if necessary.

“If people do need to get around, our advice is to plan ahead and check directly with your service operator for the most up-to-date information before starting your journey.”