Saturday rail disruption warning for Sunderland and Hartlepool passengers

An RMT flag at a previous strike.
An RMT flag at a previous strike.

Train travellers face another weekend of disruption in an ongoing dispute over passenger safety.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union is holding the second of six one-day strikes on consecutive Saturdays.

Its action affects passengers using Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew and Billingham stations for Northern services along the Newcastle-Middlesbrough Durham Coast line.

Only five trains will operate in either direction on September 1.

The first southbound services leave Sunderland at 8.01am and Hartlepool at 8.25am with the last leaving the same stations at 4.01pm and 4.28pm respectively.

The first northbound services leave Hartlepool at 7.30am and Sunderland at 7.56am with the last leaving the same stations at 6.04pm and 6.29pm respectively.

Metro and Grand Central trains using the same lines are not affected by Saturday's action.

The dispute, dating back more than a year, centres on plans by Northern owner Arriva Rail North to introduce more driver-only trains.

The company insists the improvements package as a whole will lead to updated trains with better stations, faster journeys and a greater staff presence.

It maintains guards's jobs will also be protected until the end of Northern's existing franchise in 2025.

The RMT, however, fears the company is putting "private profit before public safety" with staff also affected.

Saturday's emergency timetable can be found at www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike and further information is available at (0800) 2006060.