There were chaotic scenes at a city centre train station last night as hundreds tried to get home amid ongoing strike action.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers strike – set to continue every Saturday until the end of December – brought severe crowding to Manchester’s Piccadilly station.
This was the scene at Manchester’s Piccadilly station last night as strike action brought severe crowding to platforms
Passengers described the situation as a ‘nightmare’ with one claiming it left her teenage daughters stranded alone at the station.
Taking to Twitter, enraged traveler Jackie Perry said: ‘Unbelievable. Leaving teenage children behind yet again and shutting doors due to lack of capacity.
‘No sense of responsibility whatsoever. Vulnerable customers 14-years-old stranded in Manchester. In the evening. Disgraceful.’
While Adam Derbyshire – who tried to board a train from Piccadilly to Stockport this evening – told the
‘People were confused as to where to go, the platforms were full and the staff seemed to have no idea what was going on.’
In the end he gave up and paid for a taxi to get home.
Shock pictures taken at the scene last night show huge crowds wedged together as passengers desperately tried to get on a train.
The RMT strike action, planned for 8,15,22 and 29 December, will see Northern running approximately 700 services during each Saturday. But very few Northern services are expected to run after 5pm
Some claimed they had ‘never seen’ crowds like it at the station, while other labelled it a ‘disgrace’.
Commenting on the situation, one Twitter user said: ‘It’s a disgrace. Not only the constant delays, cancellations, over crowding, price increases etc.
‘But these stations are often a visitors first impression of Manchester.’
Northern rail warned of the strike action early this week, saying that very few services would operate after 5pm.
And those Northern services that do run, and other operators’ services, are expected to be extremely busy as the build-up to Christmas continues.
When is the strike action planned for?
The RMT strike action, planned for 8,15,22 and 29 December, will see Northern running approximately 700 services during each Saturday.
But very few Northern services are expected to run after 5pm.
Those Northern services that do run, and other operators’ services, are expected to be extremely busy as the build-up to Christmas continues.
Northern has called for RMT to suspend its damaging December strike action and return to talks at ACAS. RMT has made agreements with other train.
Addressing this evening’s scenes at the station, a spokesman for the rail operator told the Manchester Evening News: ‘The RMT strike action, taking place today, has meant that Northern has operated a reduced timetable with very few services running after 5pm.
‘Northern has called for RMT to suspend its damaging December strike action and return to talks at ACAS.’
David Brown, Managing Director at Northern, has previously addressed the scheduled strike action saying: ‘By the end of December, we will have had 19 consecutive Saturdays of RMT strike action.
‘This targeted action disrupts our customers’ lives. But, as we enter a vital period for businesses, it also damages the economic wellbeing of the north of England.
‘We have fantastic colleagues who have supported customers by keeping our trains running on each of the RMT strike days.
‘We are aiming to keep as many people moving as possible and ensuring customers can still travel into the biggest towns and cities for the big seasonal events including Christmas markets – but with very few services running after 5pm.
‘We expect all of our services, and those of other operators, to be extremely busy and are calling on our customers to plan their travel carefully for the coming weekend, check the new timetables well in advance, and make sure they do not rely on the last trains home.’
But RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the action was essential, saying: ‘RMT is angry, frustrated and determined to carry on the fight for a safe, secure and accessible railway for all after Northern Rail squandered a golden opportunity to make progress towards a settlement in ACAS talks this week.
‘Frankly, it is ludicrous that no thought has been given to funding the so-called ‘commitments’ broadcast by the Department for Transport in relation to this dispute.’