Public transport around Manchester is set to be disrupted on New Year’s Eve, with several tram and train routes not running.
Metrolink is closing three of its lines from 5pm today due to Covid-related staff shortages.
Meanwhile, strike action at CrossCountry is set to severely disrupt its service today.
It could lead to a night of chaos on what is historically one of the busiest nights of the year.
The majority of Metrolink tram services will run until 1am today to help people get home from New Year’s Eve celebrations.
But the Eccles, Ashton and Manchester Airport lines will cease altogether after 5pm.
Metrolink has said it’s ‘due to the impact of Covid-19 on drive staffing levels’.
Alex Cropper, interim head of operations at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “I would like to reassure passengers that we are doing all that we can to maintain as many scheduled Metrolink services as possible – while at the same time dealing with the impact of Covid-19 on tram drivers and staff.
“We do absolutely recognise the impact these changes may have on some people’s journeys and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience they may cause.
“I would urge people to plan their journeys in advance before they head out for the evening, allow extra time to travel and check the TfGM website for the latest information.”
Trams also won’t be running through Victoria between January 1 and 3, with services on the Bury, Rochdale, East Didsbury and Airport lines all terminating early and being replaced by rail replacement buses.
CrossCountry services from Manchester will be disrupted by planned strike action, running a ‘very limited’ service.
The RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) has instructed its members not to work on New Year’s Eve, following similar strike action on Christmas Eve.
The industrial action has been planned over what RMT says is an attempt to ‘undermine the role of the Senior Conductors and Train Managers by drafting in other staff to do their jobs’.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “The disruption to services from the New Years Eve strike action is wholly down to these greedy private companies on our railways seeking to squeeze out every penny they can by hammering down on safety, jobs and workplace dignity.
“Our members at CrossCountry and Gate Gourmet are standing up for all rail workers in their New Years Eve action as we expect a torrent of attacks on jobs, pay, safety, pensions and working conditions in 2022.
“We are ready for a New Year of campaigning and action on all fronts.”
CrossCountry will run a core but heavily reduced service between Manchester Piccadilly and Bournemouth.
Other trainlines are also warning of last-minute cancellations, delays and changes to services due to Covid-related staff shortages.
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