Commuters should expect delays as rail staff strike during a long-running dispute over the role of guards.

Union members will walk out today (Wednesday, January 10) and Friday (January 12), reducing the number of trains operating between Macclesfield and Manchester Piccadilly.

The earliest train will leave Macclesfield at 8.06am - an hour and a half later than the usual 6.22am train - and the last train to Macclesfield from Manchester will be at 6.54pm, four hours earlier than the usual 11.14pm train.

Commuters using stations at Prestbury, Adlington and Poynton will also be affected by the reduced timetable.

The three day strike - which began on Monday - is supported by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) who say plans for driver-only operated trains will put the public at risk.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies.

“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England.”

Sharon Keith, regional director at Northern, said those in conductor roles would be guaranteed jobs for the next eight years under the new plans if an agreement could be reached with RMT. The Government has also guaranteed the employment of conductors beyond 2025 if RMT ends the dispute.

She added: “We are doing all we can to keep our customers on the move and are focusing on running as many trains as possible between 7am and 7pm. We ask everyone to take time to plan their journeys carefully, allow extra time for travel and regularly check for service updates on our website.”

Customers who travel on strike days and experience delays of 30 minutes or more can claim compensation through Northern’s Delay Repay scheme on Northern’s website.

Those with season tickets that don’t include buses, trams or ferries, who decide not to travel due to strike action, can also claim compensation.

For more details of the revised timetables go to