Greater Anglia guards to strike again – but trains should run as normal

Representatives from the RMT defending the role of the guard. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Representatives from the RMT defending the role of the guard. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Rail conductor/guards working on Greater Anglia trains have called a second one-day strike in early May – but the company insists passengers will not be affected.

Meanwhile members of the Great Eastern Main Line Task Force say they have been reassured by rail bosses that there is no threat to plans to improve the service on the main line next year.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has called a one-day strike on Wednesday, May 9. It had already called its members out on strike on Saturday, May 5. However Greater Anglia bosses say stand-in guards will ensure all services are able to run as normal.

‎RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “Yet again the intransigence of private rail companies operating in England over the key issue of the guard guarantee means that we have no option but to announce further strike action in the separate disputes on Arriva Rail North, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “We are very disappointed that the RMT has announced a further strike on Wednesday 9 May. We’d like to reassure customers that we will be running a full service on this day, using our contingency conductors.

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“In recent weeks, we have had some constructive talks with RMT union officials and offered a proposal which we hoped would resolve this issue. Unfortunately, the RMT has rejected it.”

The rail task force was assured by Greater Anglia that the franchise commitment to run at least one train a day between Ipswich and London in 60 minutes would still be met – there is already one train to London that covers that journey in an hour.

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Taskforce Chair Priti Patel MP said: “The GEML Taskforce remains focused on pushing for the funding and delivery of the infrastructure improvements which will enable these quicker journey times to be achieved more regularly, such as the doubling of Trowse Swing bridge and Haughley Junction, more passing loops south of Colchester and digital signalling at the southern end of the Great Eastern Main Line.

“Further underlining this focus on improvements, the Taskforce has submitted a letter to the Office of the Rail Regulator supporting Network Rail’s request for £2.5bn for the railway in East Anglia.”

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