Tens of thousands of travellers face a dismal end to 2018 and start to the new year, as strikes and staff shortages exacerbate the problems caused by planned engineering projects. For airline passengers, the return from Christmas and new year holidays could trigger congestion at the UK’s leading airports.

The whole weekend is proving difficult for Northern Rail passengers. 

The final Saturday strike of the year caused the cancellation of most services, with very few trains after 7pm. The long-running dispute involving members of the RMT union is over the role of guards and the introduction of driver-only-operation.

Northern Rail’s now-traditional staff shortage on Sunday means many services will not run in northwest England.