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CrossCountry passengers urged to prepare for disruption as RMT union members set to strike during March and April

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  • Passengers warned to expect disruption on March 16 and 18 March, as well as 30 March and 1 April as the RMT plans strikes.
  • The levels of disruption will vary across the network, so passengers are advised to check before they travel.
  • There will be an extremely limited service to Cheltenham Spa. Passengers travelling to the races are advised to allow extra time and check last trains.

CrossCountry passengers are being warned to check before they travel on 16 and 18 March, due to planned strike action by the RMT.

The strikes will affect services on 14 train companies with trains due to start later and finish much earlier than usual - typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

On Thursday 16 March, there will be a significantly reduced service with:

  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Manchester calling at Wolverhampton and Stafford only.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Reading with extensions to Southampton.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Bristol (calling at Cheltenham Spa only). Passengers are advised to avoid travelling by train to Cheltenham if all possible as service will be limited and incredibly busy.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and York with extensions to Newcastle and Edinburgh.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Leicester.

There will be no services between Bristol and Plymouth.

Passengers to Cheltenham Races are advised to expect services to be limited and incredibly busy and if travelling by train to allow extra time for their journeys.

There will be a later than normal start up to services on Friday 17 March. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

On Saturday 18 March, there will be:

  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Manchester, via Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield and Stockport.
  • Two trains per hour between Birmingham and Leicester with extensions to Peterborough.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Bristol with additional calls at Worcestershire Parkway.
  • One train per hour between Birmingham and Reading with extensions to Southampton.
  • One train an hour between Birmingham and York with extensions through to Edinburgh.

Due to planned engineering work, there will be no CrossCountry services between Bristol and Plymouth. There will be a normal service on Sunday 19 March.

There will be a reduced timetable on Thursday 30 March and Saturday 1 April. Full details will be available in due course on https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/travel-updates-information/changes-to-train-times/industrial-action. Delay repay, refund and ticket acceptance information will also be available via the same link.

Mark Goodall, Director of Service Delivery said: “The latest round of strikes are set to cause further disruption for passengers at a time when we should be focusing on rebuilding confidence in rail. While we’re doing everything we can to run as many services as possible, there will be significant disruption, especially to those wishing to travel by train to the Cheltenham Races on Thursday 16th March.

“We advise that passengers check before they travel for the latest information as well as the times of last trains and allow extra time for their journeys.”

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