Replacement bus service from Spalding to Lincoln Christmas Market due to rail strike
Rail passengers in Spalding will be forced to take replacement bus services on Friday and Saturday due a rail staff strike.
The news will impact on anyone planning to travel to Lincoln Christmas Market by rail - with bosses urging customers to make alternative plans to get to the event.
The RMT union called the strike over fears surrounding the working conditions of some train managers - not those on the Spalding line - and a dispute over pay, conditions and contract issues for senior conductors.
East Midlands Railway, which operates services in Spalding, has accused the union of timing the strike to disrupt Lincoln Christmas Market trains.
In a letter to stakeholders today, it said: "As a result of the deeply disappointing strike action being taken by members of the RMT union on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December, EMR will be operating a reduced timetable across the majority of the network.
"The strikes are timed to coincide with one of the biggest events on the EMR network, the Lincoln Christmas Market.
"As such, EMR has taken the extremely difficult decision to urge customers to consider alternative travel arrangements to visit Lincoln Christmas Market.
"EMR has done everything it can to allow additional time for the RMT to suspend the strike. However, the RMT has not responded to EMR’s formal offer and therefore EMR has been left with no option but to introduce a reduced timetable.
"EMR has also done everything it can to protect services to and from Lincoln.
"However, it is clear this level of service will not be sufficient to provide adequate capacity for the thousands of customers expected to travel to Lincoln over the weekend and therefore EMR is urging visitors to consider alternative ways of travelling.
"Customers who have no alternative means of travelling and are planning to travel with EMR are urged to leave extra time for queues at stations and to ensure they have completed their journey by 8pm."
Friday and Saturday will also see Spalding hold its own two-day Christmas celebration.