Liverpool train strikes December 2022: When are Merseyrail strike dates, timetable changes, cancellations

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Merseyrail will run a limited service for what is expected to be the busiest Christmas shopping weekend of the year.

Train passengers face severe travel disruption as we head into what is expected to be the busiest shopping weekend of the Christmas period as more than 40,000 workers across Network Rail stage a series of strikes in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The first wave of industrial action hit earlier this week and a second 48hr strike will affect services on Friday December 16 and Saturday December 17. This will be followed by industrial action from Christmas Eve to December 27 and then further walk outs on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

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The strike action by 14 operating companies will have a significant impact on national services from Liverpool Lime Street - including Avanti West Coast, TransPennine and Northern trains - and will also hit local Merseyrail services.

Impact on Merseyrail

Merseyrail staff are not part of the industrial action, but the strike by members of the RMT union will involve Network Rail staff who operate the signalling systems and maintenance on local lines.

As a result, Merseyrail services will be affected on what they predict to be an ‘extremely busy’ weekend as shoppers and revellers head out into town. Merseyside Police have announced they will deploy extra officers to cope with the added influx of people.

Merseyrail planned to run a limited 45-minute timetable on Friday and Saturday - running on selected lines between 07:30 and 18:30 each day. But the continued bad weather means the operator has cancelled the first services on all lines on Saturday. Empty ‘route-proving’ trains will run before passenger services to ensure the network is safe to operate following forecast sleet and snow.

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The services that will operate on Friday December 16 and Saturday December 17 are as follows:

  • Chester and Ellesmere Port lines: No trains will operate between Chester and Rock Ferry or Ellesmere Port and Rock Ferry. Trains will run every 45 minutes between Rock Ferry and Liverpool Central, calling at all stations.
  • New Brighton line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
  • West Kirby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
  • Southport line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
  • Hunts Cross line: No trains will operate between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross.
  • Ormskirk line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
  • Kirkby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
  • Latest updates on the Merseyrail website.

There will be no rail replacement buses on strike days. A normal train service will operate on Sunday December 18, but with a yellow weather warning in place from the Met Office, timetables could once again be affected by snow and ice.

Jane English, Acting Managing Director at Merseyrail, said: “We would like to apologise for the disruption caused to our passengers as a result of the action being taken by Network Rail signallers and maintenance staff. We have worked closely with Network Rail to provide an improved industrial action timetable, with a train serving most stations on the network every 45-minutes from 07:30 and 18:30, to help passengers make essential journeys.

“We would remind passengers who are travelling on Friday 16 December or Saturday 17 December to plan their journeys in advance and that trains are likely to be very busy.

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“The late evenings of Friday 16 December and Saturday 17 December are likely to be extremely busy as people begin Christmas celebrations. Passengers should consider their journey plans carefully, bearing in mind that Merseyrail services will not be operating any later than 18:30 on both days.”

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