Commuter anger over rail strikes

COMMUTERS in Ipswich were today fuming over the train strikes which made them several hours late for work.

COMMUTERS in Ipswich were today fuming over the train strikes which made them several hours late for work.

The strikes, scheduled for today and tomorrow, have been causing havoc after a number of key services were axed.

The action by the RMT and ASLEF against National Express East Anglia (NXEA) centres on a row over this year's pay award.

It comes on the day National Express revealed a slump into the red in the first six months of the year as it lost more than �20 million on its soon-to-be nationalised East Coast rail line.

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Speaking on the platform at Ipswich, Damian Ferrar, 40, from Brandeston, said: “I'm going to be very late today - if I get there.

“They keep saying the train could be cancelled at the last minute. I'm staying in London tonight to avoid the problem.”

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Glynn Watkins, 52, of Mill Lane, Felixstowe, said: “I think 'good on them'. It's about time people stood up for themselves. By the way they manage the network, I have no doubt they have gripes.”

Georgia Vatter, 29, of Dales View Road, Ipswich, said: “I have been misinformed. I was told my first train to Norwich was 6.21am or 7.21am, but it is actually 9.41am so I'm going to have to go home and come back again.

“It is really disruptive. I'm not going to get into work until 10.45am then I have to leave at 3.30pm to get the last train home. It is ridiculous.”

However, Andy Nevis, 24, from Cambridge, said: “I have to explain to my boss why I am going to be so late.”

It will be the first of four periods of industrial action that will take place on Thursdays and Fridays over the next four weeks.

A spokesman for NXEA estimated that hundreds of Ipswich commuters will be affected by the strikes, which will cause very limited services to be run from the town to London - just three in each direction in the morning and evening.

Local services such as Ipswich to Felixstowe or Cambridge will be cancelled altogether.

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