Greater Anglia services to run as normal during two-day guards strike
- Credit: Archant
Rail company Greater Anglia has been given approval to use temporary conductor/guards during the two-day strike by RMT members on Wednesday and Thursday.
The government’s watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved its plans to use temporary guards, recruited from back-office and managerial staff, during the 48-hour walkout which starts early on Wednesday morning.
However there was some frustration that the news did not come out until 15 hours before the strike is due to start – meaning many commuters will have travelled to work on Tuesday not knowing if they would be able to make the journey for the next two days.
Richard Dean, Greater Anglia Train Service Delivery Director, said: “We have completed the review with the ORR and as a result we will be running a full train service on Wednesday and Thursday.”
The government is backing the company in the dispute.
You may also want to watch:
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The RMT is playing a political game, however it has backfired as Greater Anglia will be running a full service for passengers during the strike.
“This dispute is not about jobs – Greater Anglia is not planning to remove the second staff member from any services which have one at present – the guards have had their jobs guaranteed for eight years.
- 1 These are the neighbourhoods in Suffolk where Covid rates are still rising
- 2 Campaign against two more solar farms gathers strength in Suffolk villages
- 3 New outdoor theatre hopes to bring post lockdown performances to the woods
- 4 People 'losing patience' with neighbours who flout Covid rules, police say
- 5 'I thought we were really good' - Lambert's assessment of dire 1-0 home loss to Peterborough
- 6 Matchday Recap: Town lose as McGuinness puts through his own net
- 7 Man who had sex with underage girl avoids prison
- 8 Ipswich Town 0-1 Peterborough United: Toothless Town beaten as McGuinness own goal settles it
- 9 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 1-0 home loss to Peterborough United
- 10 A life in agony: 27-year-old's daily torture battling constant pain
“It’s also not about safety, as the independent rail regulator has ruled that driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for thirty years, are safe.
“Greater Anglia is in the process of modernising its service and will deliver more than 1,000 new carriages by 2020 – increasing capacity and improve passenger comfort.”
The decision was attacked by RMT General Secretary Mick Cash who pointed out that the ORR is part-funded by rail companies.
He said: “This week passengers will be placed at greater risk because rail bosses have trained an army of managers and inexperienced backroom staff to replace highly trained and experienced guards in a bid to break the strike action.
“It is obvious to anyone that this will mean passengers will more at risk yet the rail safety regulator is not intervening to protect passengers.”