UK Northern rail strike to affect Britney Spears’ concert fans

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GB news 24 desk//

People attending Britney Spears’ concert in Blackpool face disruption as Northern rail staff stage a strike.

Members of the rail workers’ RMT union are holding a 24-hour walkout for the second Saturday in a row in a dispute over driver-only operated trains.

Northern will run 30% of its services, while some will also be cut on Sunday.

Britney’s concert is taking place during the first weekend of this year’s Blackpool Illuminations, when several visitors head to the Lancashire resort.The Northern rail strike is the second in a series of walkouts planned for six consecutive Saturdays until 29 September.

The RMT accused company bosses of “stringing its negotiators along”, saying there had been an opportunity to agree “on the ‎guard guarantee that matches the best practice in the industry”.

The union’s general secretary Mick Cash said agreements had been reached with Greater Anglia and in Wales and Scotland.

He said Northern “need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too”.

A Northern spokesman said negotiations were continuing with the union.

Some Sunday services will also be cancelled across north-west England, after 5% of services were dropped over Sundays in August.

Northern has said they had been withdrawn due to engineering works around Manchester and crew scheduling “difficulties”.

Liam Sumpter, the firm’s regional director, said: “We are doing all we can to keep our customers on the move and are focussing on running as many trains as possible.”

The cancellations follows disruption across the Northern network this summer.

Northern rail’s summer of disruption

Image copyright Getty Images
  • More than 165 daily train services were cancelled following a chaotic timetable introduction in May.
  • Services partially resumed at the end of July.
  • Northern cancelled about 5% of its services on Sundays in August
  • Last month, the operator apologised after a passenger who is disabled was told she could not travel with her mobility scooter despite being sold a ticket face-to-face.
  • Members of the RMT union plan to walk out on six consecutive Saturdays until 29 September.
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