Security tight as Grand National meeting opens

Armed police officers are present as racegoers arrive during day one of the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree
Armed police officers are present as racegoers arrive during day one of the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree
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This was the scene greeting spectators on arrival at Aintree racecourse on the opening day of the Randox Grand National Festival at Aintree.

There was visible security with armed police at the entrance to the home of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Racegoers travelling to Aintree for the big race face major problems on Saturday.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Merseyrail will walk out for 24 hours on Saturday in a dispute over driver-only operation on new trains.

The action, coupled with a strike on Arriva Trains North over the same issue, will affect passengers going to the big race at Aintree.

Merseyrail has announced a special timetable, with trains running to Aintree before the start of the Grand National and after the race ends.

The action is particularly problematic for racegoers who had been planning to go from Preston.