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North West passengers told to prepare for December timetable changes

Northern is calling on its customers in the North West to plan journeys carefully ahead of timetable changes later this month.

The train operator, alongside many other businesses and industries, continues to feel the impact of coronavirus and is introducing new timetables that build on the modest changes made in September.

The new schedules, introduced from Monday December 14, will see some additional services on a few key routes – though the focus remains on delivering reliability and punctuality for customers.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director for Northern, said: “This has been a difficult year and we fully understand how important rail services are to the communities we serve.

“We have done all we can to provide the best possible service during unprecedented conditions and our new timetables are designed to build on the enhancements we delivered in the autumn and retain high levels of reliability.

“As part of the new schedule we will run more direct trains between Cumbria and Manchester Airport, increase fast services between Liverpool and Manchester Airport and run hourly trains between Blackburn and Wigan. Elsewhere we will, at least, maintain current service levels, though there may be changes to the times at which those services operate.”

Chris added: “We have had to balance the demand for services with other factors, such as the ongoing impact of the pandemic, and driver and conductor training which had to be paused earlier this year.

“We fully understand the role we play in keeping people on the move and I am calling on all customers to familiarise themselves with the new timetables, and to check carefully before any journeys to ensure all travel goes as smoothly as possible.

Northern’s new timetables start on 14 December and details can be found online via the Northern website or at National Rail Enquiries.

Meanwhile, Northern continues to take additional steps to make the railway as safe as possible. Extra cleaning is being carried out on trains and at stations and the operator is asking customers to travel during less busy times where possible. And, of course, face coverings are mandatory (aside from those with specific exemptions) on all trains and at stations.

For the latest travel advice relating to Covid-19 please visit the government website.

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